Think you don’t know Takashi Murakami, think again.
His collaboration with fashion house Louis Vuitton for a range of handbags and wallets became some of the most counterfeited fashion products in the world – the best gauge of the public’s hunger for a product.
If you’re a fan of Kanye West have another look at this album cover.
With Murakami’s marriage of high and low art, commercialism and a Warhol ethos of factory production, he is often the target of critics that point to a cynical manipulation of low culture in his work.
The prices his work features speak for themselves though – in May 2008 “My Lonesome Cowboy” (1998), a sculpture of a masturbating boy, sold for $15.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction.
His work is coveted across the globe and his grand exhibition at the MOCA gallery in LA last year reportedly sold $4 million worth of limited edition prints from the galleries boutique shop – situated in the main gallery itself – perhaps Murakami’s tongue in cheek reference to the dialogue on the commercial aspect of his work?
Time magazine has rated him in their power 100 for the last 2 years – he is the only visual artist to feature on the list.
He also recently took Superflat to Versailles (completely pissing some traditionalist folk off in the process). Personally, I love the contrast.