Tokyo Tower

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Edition of 30068.0 x 68.0 cm?
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Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami is a Japanese painter, sculptor and film-maker, as well as the pioneer of the ‘Superflat’ art movement. Blending elements of high art with consumer culture and taking inspiration from both traditional Japanese painting and anime, Takashi’s intersectional approach has earned him prominence as one of the most celebrated contemporary artists working today. Takashi engages with the past, the present and the future, particularly the future of art, with his world renowned Kaikai Kiki art collective.

SUPERFLAT ART

In 2001 Takashi curated Superflat, an exhibition showcasing works by artists who explored all aspects of Japanese visual culture. From this show, the term ‘Superflat’ was coined, not only as an art movement, but as an art theory. The name draws focus to the ‘flatness’ of Japanese graphic and fine art, whilst also emphasising the emptiness of consumer culture. Artists working along Takashi to produce Superflat art include Chiho Aoshima, Yoshitomo Nara and Aya Takano, to name a few. Since its conception twenty years ago, Superflat art has been embraced and adopted by artists around the world, and exists as one of the most recognisable postmodern art movements today.

TAKASHI MURAKAMI’S COLLABORATIONS

Characterised by bright colours and playful cartoon motifs, Takashi’s Superflat art quickly caught the attention of designers and creatives alike.

From Louis Vuitton to Kanye West

As a true Pop Art artist does, Takashi Murakami has collaborated with major brands and incorporations such as Supreme, Uniqlo, Perrier and Louis Vuitton. And his celebrity roster is not lacking in star-power having carried out projects for A-listers such as Pharrell Williams, Billie Eilish, Kid Cudi and Kanye West. His designs have become iconic, both in these collaborations and under his own label, Kaikai Kiki. Soon after the inaugural Superflat exhibition, Takashi carried out some of his most famous work by embarking on an extensive collaboration with Marc Jacobs to redesign the signature Louis Vuitton monogram.

The potency of his visual branding across Japan, Asian and eventually the Western hemisphere is synonymous with that of Andy Warhol in the United States. In less than a decade, Takashi Murakami distinguished himself as a leader in the contemporary pop art movement.

The Sale & Popularity of Takashi Murakami's Flower

Perhaps his most recognisable and most famous work, the smiling flower of Takashi Murakami is the emblem of his artistic practice. It has been made into prints, it has been displayed at Versailles and it has been printed onto shoes, skateboards, rugs, pillows, bags, books and possibly any type of commercial support one can imagine.

This flower harkens back to Takashi Murakami's days as a school teacher when he would bring fresh flowers to class so that his students could use them as models for their sketches. After years of seeing the different types of styles, personalities and designs that came from these drawings, Murakami eventually made his own.

With its beaming smile, anime-eyes and multi-colored petals, Murakami's flowers are like Andy Warhol's bananas, Jean Michel Basquiat's crown or Richard Orlinski's Kong. They are internationally renowned symbols of an artist's signature work.

Takashi Murakami's Flower Rug and Pillow

Versatile and daring, Takashi Murakami did not confine his art or his branding to the walls of any one elite art gallery or an auction house. Aside from having his work available in the form of lithographs or prints, one can also acquire Murakami's well-known flower in the form of a rug or a pillow. The price of these Murakami collectibles is affordable and accessible. Completely non-conformist in his own way, in addition to being shown in prestigious galleries worldwide and fetching record-setting prices at auctions, Murakami disseminates his work to the general public in a way that is avant-gardist even for the most devout supporters of pop art. It is this versatile and distinct, which has cemented his influence as both an artist and a designer.

The Murakami Bear

Sometimes dubbed the "Dropout Bear" or the "Kanye Bear", in 2007 Takashi Murakami did a redesign of the original Kanye West bear that was featured in the cover art of West's album, The College Dropout. Making his debut on the cover art of Kanye's third studio album, Graduation, the Murakami bear became a part of not only pop culture but music culture as well.

When not gracing the cover of platinum hip-hop albums, Murakami's bear has a legitimate identity. He is in fact, a panda named "Panda Geant". This cartoon bear originally emerged following Murakami's collaboration with Louis Vuitton in 2003. Sometimes mistaken for or compared to a KAWS figurine, Murakami released an ultra-limited edition sculpture of a bear on top of a Louis Vuitton trunk. In auction, it quickly surpassed its estimated price with the winning bid at £2.2 million. In the early 2000s, this was a feat for a Japanese artist, especially one like Murakami who was not scared to intertwine art and commerce.

Acquire a Takashi Murakami Original

Despite his mega stardom, fans, art novices and seasoned art collectors alike can still find a Takashi print, lithograph or original artwork in Rise Art's online art gallery. Whether you are looking for a Rainbow Flower print, a Doraemon lithograph or a vibrant and playful flower cartoon print, there are many Murakami signed originals for sale on Rise Art.

Artist Profile: Takashi Murakami & Superflatism

Find out how Takashi Murakami explores superflatism and democracy in art in our article profiling the artist.

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