Is there anyone who doesn’t notice Google’s doodle? The doodle today, to mark the Summer Solstice, was illustrated by Takashi Murakami, a Japanese artist who specialises in contemporary fine art, digital & commercial, using the style of Superflat art which is inspired by anime/manga culture.
Having been asked about mixing art with merchandising, he commented:
“I don’t think of it as straddling. I think of it as changing the line. What I’ve been talking about for years is how in Japan, that line is less defined. Both by the culture and by the post-War economic situation. Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of ‘high art.’ In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay—I’m ready with my hard hat.”
His work has been sold for $15.2 million and is highly regarded; in 2008, Takashi Murakami made Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People list, the only visual artist on the whole list. Much like Andy Warhol’s approach, Murakami has taken sub-culture inspired art and has increased its value to be on the prestigious levels of the ‘high-end’ market. He’s managed to expand his art to a whole range of merchandise, from key-rings to $5000 Louis Vuitton limited edition hand-bags.
He was also sought after by none other than Kanye West who used Murakami’s work for his Graduation album. Murakami has successfully built up a high-end, quality and original sub-culture inspired line that is in demand from some of the biggest faces in mainstream culture.
Murakami is committed to promoting Japanese art to the world. He hosts the GEISAI festival in Japan for young emerging talent, two times a year. Furthermore, with his company Kaikai Kiki, he supports and manages a group of young artists. His endeavours prove to rejuvenate the post-war Japanese art scene which he says is a ‘shallow appropriation of Western trends’.
He has definitely put Japan on the map.
- by @priya_mehra