Takashi Murakami (1963- ) is a Japanese artist who has gained international fame for his strange and rather terrifying art.
Murakami is considered one of the most thought-provoking contemporary artists in Japan, and it is easy to see why. Looking at his art is a bit like being on acid (or at least how this is being portrayed in films, I have no personal experience with acid). His work range from cartoony paintings to sculptures, giant balloons, performance events and factory produced watches, t-shirts and other products. He also collaborated with Marc Jacobs to create handbags for Louis Vuitton, which is always a good thing. His signature character is called Mr. DOB, a creature vaguely reminiscent of Mickey Mouse, only the nightmare-version.
Murakami is classically trained in the traditional nihon-ga style, something that is recognizable in his art, in between all the references to pop-culture. He himself does not consider his work pop-art however: “If my art looks positive and cheerful, I would doubt my art was accepted in the contemporary art scene. My art is not Pop art. It is a record of the struggle of the discriminated people.”
Please enjoy some more pictures of his work:
I, at least, find his art really, really scary. But still brilliant. What do you think?