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Takashi Murakami

Japanese, b. 1962

Japanese contemporary artist Takashi Murakami may be famous among collectors for his psychedelic flowers and chaotic cartoons, but artists likely know him as the theorist behind the contemporary art movement he calls “Superflat.”

Partially inspired by the Pop art of Andy Warhol, in which celebrity culture and mundane mass-produced items became the focus of bright and colorful works that both celebrated and criticized consumerism, Murakami’s Superflat encompasses painting, sculpture, digital design and more to present a subversive look at consumerism but is also an effort to blend fine art and lowbrow culture. A multifaceted and remarkably influential artist as well as a compulsive art collector, Murakami has collaborated with brands such as Louis Vuitton, while one of his most famous Superflat works is the teddy bear on the cover of the Graduation album by American rapper Kanye West.

In 1993 Murakami earned his Ph.D. from Tokyo University of the Arts, where he was trained in nihonga, a style of painting that originated in the late 19th century by artists who worked to preserve and promote the conventions and processes associated with traditional Japanese art. While practicing nihonga, Murakami began to realize that his beliefs didn’t align with the tradition, so his art subsequently took on a satirical feel that embodied a critique of the movement. Before long, his style took a drastic turn, embracing otaku, a rising postwar cultural phenomenon among Japan’s younger crowd who loved anime and manga. (Otaku is also integral to Superflat.)

This is when Murakami’s most well-known character, Mr. DOB, was born. This anime-inspired icon, which Americans might interpret as a cross between Walt Disney’s Mickey Mouse and Lewis Carroll’s Cheshire Cat given its pronounced ears and broad and menacing grin, was part of the artist’s endeavor to elevate the otaku subculture but also to target mass consumerism. While Murakami conceived of Mr. DOB years ahead of his 2000-era Superflat theory, there is much common ground between the two. Not unlike his other creations, Murakami’s Mr. DOB is equal parts erotic, disturbing and cartoonish — an incisive mockery of the mingling of commerce and fine art so prevalent in Japanese popular culture.

Find original Takashi Murakami prints, sculptures and more on 1stDibs. 

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Louis Vuitton Murakami White Multicolor Monogram Judy PM Bag
By Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton
Located in Montreal, Quebec
From the Takashi Murakami Collection. This style is made of white canvas with multicolour monogram. Featuring brass hardware, natural leather finishes, cut out handles, chain shoulde...
Category

Early 2000s Takashi Murakami

Louis Vuitton Murakami White Multicolor Monogram Belt 2003 (80/32)
By Louis Vuitton, Takashi Murakami
Located in Montreal, Quebec
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Takashi Murakami

Louis Vuitton Takashi Murakami Black multicoloured fringes bucket bag pochette
By Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton
Located in Capri, IT
Louis Vuitton Takashi Murakami Black multicoloured fringes bucket bag pochette Two Vachetta shoulder straps Interior zip and slash pockets Coated Canvas Microfiber lining Gold hardwa...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Takashi Murakami

Louis Vuitton Murakami White Monogram Multicolor Keepall 45
By Louis Vuitton, Takashi Murakami
Located in Montreal, Quebec
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Takashi Murakami

Issey Miyake x Takashi Murakami SS2000 Reversible "Lonesome Cowboy" Pants
By Issey Miyake, Takashi Murakami
Located in Beverly Hills, CA
In 1999, Issey Miyake handed over the reigns of his eponymous label to Naoki Takizawa. One of Takizawa’s first distinguishing choices was his collaboration with legendary pop artist ...
Category

Early 2000s Takashi Murakami

LOUIS VUITTON Takashi Murakami Limited Edition Multicolore Monogram Mirror NIB
By Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton
Located in Thiensville, WI
LOUIS VUITTON Takashi Murakami Limited Edition Multicolore Monogram Mirror NIB Brand/Manufacturer: Louis Vuitton Designer: Takashi Murakami Style: Pocket mirror Color(s): Shades of...
Category

Early 2000s Takashi Murakami

Murakami for Louis Vuitton Monogram Key Holder
By Takashi Murakami, Louis Vuitton
Located in Paris, FR
Collectible piece designed by Murakami for Louis Vuitton at the beginning of the century. Crafted with multicolored monogram on white canvas, with natural color leather edges. The ha...
Category

Early 2000s Takashi Murakami

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Louis Vuitton Ltd Edition Green Denim Murakami Monogramoflage Lys Tote Bag
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