|Birth Day:||February 1, 1962|
|Birth Place:||Tokyo, Japan|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
He was a fan of Japanese anime and comics and initially wanted to become an illustrator; however, his study of the Nihonga Japanese painting technique convinced him to delve into fine art.
In 1994, Murakami received a fellowship from the Asian Cultural Council and participated in the PS1 International Studio Program in New York City for a year. During his stay, he was exposed to and highly inspired by Western contemporary artists such as Anselm Kiefer and especially the simulationism of artists such as Jeff Koons. He established a small studio, which, together with the Hiropon Factory in Japan, became the precursor to his company Kaikai Kiki. After returning to Japan, he would develop the core concepts behind his artistic practice and begin exhibiting regularly at major galleries and institutions across Europe and America.
In 1996, Murakami launched the Hiropon Factory, his production workshop, in order to work on a larger scale and in a more diverse array of media. His model inherits the atelier system which has long existed in Japanese painting, printmaking and sculpture and is common to anime and manga enterprises, such as Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli. In 2001, Hiropon Factory was incorporated as Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
In 2000, Murakami published his "Superflat" theory in the catalogue for a group exhibition of the same name that he curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The theory posits that there is a legacy of flat, 2-dimensional imagery from Japanese art history in manga and anime. This style differentiates itself from the western approach in its emphasis on surface and use of flat planes of color. Superflat also served as a commentary on postwar Japanese society in which, Murakami argues, differences in social class and popular taste have 'flattened,' producing a culture with little distinction between 'high' and 'low'. The theory provided the context for his work and he elaborated on it with the exhibitions "Coloriage" (2002, Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain, Paris) and "Little Boy: The Arts of Japan's Exploding Subculture" (2005, Japan Society, New York). These helped introduce Japan's lesser-known creative culture overseas and such curatorial projects would become an integral part of Murakami's multifaceted artistic practice. In the past decade, Murakami's curatorship expanded to include Kazunori Hamana, Yuji Ueda, and Otani Workshop at Blum & Poe, New York (2016) and Juxtapox x Superflat at Vancouver Art Gallery (2016).
Murakami's art encompasses a wide range of media and is generally described as superflat. It has been noted for its use of color, incorporation of motifs from Japanese traditional and popular culture, flat/glossy surfaces, and content that could be described at once as "cute", "psychedelic", or "satirical". Among his best known recurring motifs are smiling flowers, iconic characters, mushrooms, skulls, Buddhist iconography, and the sexual complexes of otaku culture. One of Murakami's most famous pieces known as 'Hiropon' brings to light his love for otaku culture. The sculpture that was created in 2001 is said to show the "otaku culture and its strange, shocking sexuality in full force" and again like its counterpart 'The Lonesome Cowboy' semen rests floating around the female sculpture.
In 2002, at the invitation of designer Marc Jacobs, Murakami began his long-lasting collaboration with the fashion brand Louis Vuitton. He began by contributing artwork which was used in the design of a series of handbags. The series re-envisioned the company's monogram and was a huge commercial success. Though he had previously collaborated with fashion designers such as Issey Miyake Men by Naoki Takizawa, his work with Louis Vuitton made him widely known for blurring the line between 'high art' and commercialism. It also elevated him to celebrity status in his home country of Japan.
From 2002 until 2014, Murakami organized a unique direct-participatory art fair called Geisai. It was held once per year in Japan and once per year in a different city, such as Taipei, or Miami. Rather than give space to pre-screened galleries, the fair allowed artists to create their own booths and interact directly with potential buyers.
On November 11, 2003, ArtNews has described Murakami's work as being in great demand. Hiropon (1997), a life-sized, satirical sculpture of an anime character with gigantic lactating breasts whose milk stream forms a jump rope made of fiberglass, sold for $427,500 at Christie's auction house in May 2002. Miss ko2 (1996), a 6-foot-tall model of an anime-inspired blonde girl in a red and white maid outfit, was sold for $567,500 in 2003, and was put up for auction in 2010, where it sold for 22.9 million HKD. In May 2008, My Lonesome Cowboy (1998), an anime-inspired sculpture of a masturbating boy whose semen stream forms a lasso, sold for $15.2 million at Sotheby's. Murakami's current net-worth is estimated to be around US$100 million, and the value of his works continue to rise in today's market.
In 2007, Murakami provided the cover artwork for rapper Kanye West's album Graduation and directed an animated music video for West's song "Good Morning". He also provided cover artwork for West's 2018 collaboration album Kids See Ghosts with Kid Cudi.
From 2007 to 2009, Murakami's first retrospective ©Murakami traveled from the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles (its multi-disciplinary approach to contemporary art), to the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, and lastly the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain. Sarah Thornton tracks the early stages of the exhibition's planning, including in-depth curatorial meetings between Murakami and prominent museum figures, in Seven Days in the Art World. The exhibition earned widespread attention for, among other things, including a fully functioning Louis Vuitton boutique as one of the exhibits.
Murakami was dissatisfied with the state of contemporary art in Japan, believing it to be "a deep appropriation of Western trends." Thus, much of his early work was done in the spirit of social criticism and satire. On an article naming and explaining all of Murakami's pieces lies the infamous My Lonesome Cowboy, a companion to his earlier Hiropon. The sculpture is that of a naked anime character with blond spiky hair with a spiral trail of semen circling him. This piece is Murakami's most expensive piece to date selling for $13,500,000 at Sothbye's New York auction in 2008. Efforts from this period include performance art (Osaka Mixer Project, 1992), parodies of the "message" art popular in Japan in the early '90s, (Dobozite Dobozite Oshamanbe, 1993), and conceptual works (e.g. Randoseru Project, 1991). He also began developing his own pop icon, "Mr. DOB," which would later develop into a form of self-portraiture, the first of several endlessly morphing and recurring motifs seen throughout his work. Though he garnered attention, many of his early pieces were not initially well received in Japan.
In 2008, Murakami was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People", the only visual artist included.
In 2008, Kaikai Kiki converted the basement space beneath its Tokyo office into an art gallery. Kaikai Kiki Gallery has held exhibitions not only for the artists under its management but also international names such as Mark Grotjahn and Friedrich Kunath. All exhibitions are curated by Murakami.
In 2009, music producer Pharrell Williams unveiled a collaborative sculpture with Murakami at Art Basel, which Williams stated "illustrates the metaphor of value."
In September 2010 Murakami became the third contemporary artist, and first Japanese, to exhibit at the Palace of Versailles in France, filling 15 rooms and the park with his sculptures, paintings, a decorative carpet, and lamps.
A second Gallery called Hidari Zingaro was opened in 2010 and has now expanded to include four separate locations within the Nakano Broadway shopping mall in Nakano, Tokyo.
On June 21, 2011, Google featured a doodle tagged as "First Day of Summer" which was created by Murakami. This was accompanied by a Winter Solstice doodle for the Southern Hemisphere.
In February 2012, Murakami opened an exhibition in Doha, Qatar. Titled Murakami-Ego, this showed around 60 old works alongside new ones designed especially for the exhibition. Among the new ones, a 100-metre long wall painting depicting the suffering of the Japanese people after the Fukushima nuclear disaster.
In March 2013, livetune released a PV, directed by Murakami, for Redial, featuring Hatsune Miku.
In April 2013, Murakami's first feature film was released in theaters across Japan. Jellyfish Eyes (originally titled "Me me me no kurage)) is a live-action movie featuring CGI characters designed by Murakami called Friend.
In May 2014, with Pharrell and kz of livetune, Murakami created a music video for the remix of the Hatsune Miku song "Last Night, Good Night (Re:Dialed)". The team was assembled by the YouTube channel The Creators Project, headed by Vice and Intel. The same year, Murakami's anime-inspired illustrations from his first film Jellyfish Eyes, also adorned a T-shirt by Billionaire Boys Club, the brand co-founded by Pharrell and Nigo.
In 2018, Takashi Murakami collaborated with fashion designer Virgil Abloh on a series of artworks, bringing the fashion world to the art world but ultimately transcending both to create something more. Takashi and Virgil discuss their careers and their collaboration at length in their interview for Cultured Magazine's fall 2018 issue where they are featured on the cover.
In March 2019, Billie Eilish released the official music video for you should see me in a crown, directed and animated by Takashi Murakami. Murakami stated in a press release that the anime-style video, which was animated using motion capture technology, took eight months for him to create. The video opens with an animated version of Eilish, dressed in a neon-green shirt and shorts, eventually morphing into a spider-like monster that wreaks havoc on a miniature city. The video features the "Blohsh", Eilish's signature logo, as well as Murakami's flowers.
In March 2020, J Balvin released his album Colores featuring album cover designs and artwork by Takashi Murakami. The Murakami-designed artwork was carried over to merchandise to celebrate the release of his album.
In April 2020, Supreme released a Box Logo Tee featuring artwork from Murakami. All the proceeds went to HELP USA, in order to support youth and families facing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Takashi was born and raised in Tokyo.
Currently, Takashi Murakami is 61 years, 1 months and 23 days old. Takashi Murakami will celebrate 62nd birthday on a Thursday 1st of February 2024. Below we countdown to Takashi Murakami upcoming birthday.
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