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Takashi Murakami (Japanese, b.b. 1962)
Birth Place: Tokyo (Tokyo metropolis, Kanto, Japan)
Born in Tokyo in 1962, Takashi Murakami is a multitalented Japanese artist whose colorful, modern and manga-inspired aesthetic has led some to call him “the Andy Warhol of Japan.” Over the course of his dynamic career Murakami has been a sculptor, animator, painter, commercial artist and even art theorist. He pioneered the post-modern artistic concept known as “superflat” concept, the idea that the flatness of two-dimensional traditional Japanese art extends conceptually to the continuity between high and low art in Japan and visually to the two-dimensional aesthetic seen in contemporary and commercial Japanese art. Though he is considered a pop artist, Murakami insists that he isn’t one, pushing against attempts to categorize his art. He told the Journal of Contemporary Art that “[his] art is not Pop art. It is a record of the struggle of the discriminated people.”
Murakami’s work has been featured in some of the most unusual spaces in the world. In 2010 a retrospective of his work appeared in the Chateau de Versailles, the opulent palace that once housed French monarchy. The exhibition, “Murakami Versaille” featured fiberglass sculptures of colorful manga-esque characters. His series “Wink,” comprised of inflatable sculptures, was featured in New York City’s Grand Central Station. In 2009 he collaborated with acclaimed producer Pharrell and jewelry connoisseur Jacob the Jeweler on a sculpture called “The Simple Things” that was made out of 26,000 diamonds and gems and featured household items such as a Pepsi can and cupcake that are indigenous to contemporary American culture.
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