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.
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. Working with everyone from Louis Vuitton to Pharrell Williams, Takashi’s designs have become iconic, both in collaborations and under his own label, Kaikai Kiki. Soon after the inaugural Superflat exhibition, Takashi embarked on an extensive collaboration with Marc Jacobs to redesign the signature Louis Vuitton monogram. Takashi’s style is both versatile and distinct, which has cemented his influence as both an artist and a designer.
Find out how Takashi Murakami explores superflatism and democracy in art in our article profiling the artist.