November 04, 2007

Takashi Murakami

"The Apocalyptic Champ" - Takashi Murakami

Duh! I'm so slow! Been wondering for years where the new look in art is coming from... would ask gallery directors "What is this type of work called? What's the ism?" To only get a blank look that showed irritation with really dumb gallery goers. "Um, it's a contemporary painting!" Or some such reject... in other words, they didn't know either, but they knew they were 'with it' in terms of showing the latest stuff.

So I'm watching (one of my few fav TV shows) CBS Sunday Morning and they are showing the new opening at the MoCA for Takashi Murakami. I've paid little attention to the Japanese anime movement, chalked it off to kid stuff and no need, no interest in learning. Yet I was seeing it's influence every time I went to a gallery or clicked an art link! The flat, clean and clear color... the defined shapes and lines flowing and joining. I like it! He has clearly taken the movement and gone way beyond, creating a style called Superflat which has become a super influence in all modes of fashion and design... who knew?

Check this Google Image link for a quick overview of Murakami's work. And, you ask, who was his art idol? Warhol, of course... again, duh! I guess if I was a young MBA (the best brand these days) I would automatically know all about this... but will just continue to look for more 'Aha!' moments to ongoing questions.

The above info is strictly from the writer's point of view and is in no way intended to represent the real world.


Annie B said...

Hi KJ,

I suspect that you and I are close in age. I became aware of the pervasiveness of anime about 6 years ago when I started to audit Japanese language courses at Smith College and discovered that most of the young women who were studying Japanese with me had been drawn to the language through cartoons! Since then I've seen a strong anime influence in my field (illustration) and, as you note, in design, fashion and galleries as well. I can't quite go there myself, but I suppose my chosen medium of Japanese style woodblock fits into a corner of this massive trend.

Wired Magazine just published an article saying that the manga (comics) trend in Japan may be on the wane. Who knows.

As artists do you think we have any kind of duty to keep up with the culture? Just curious what you think. I feel that I have to because illustration styles go through strong trends. Fine art too?

KJ said...

Annie, I imagine illustration is more in tune with trends than art... but art possibly has a more lasting influence. Perhaps solidifying that trend. Even if manga wanes, the effect will be around for awhile as young artists (those highly touted young MFA's) have been brought up on it. That was my 'aha!' moment... seeing the link between the new look in gallery art and what I'd been ignoring in illustration, comics and the like.

Daphne said...

Well that answers one of my questions. I actually know a young artist here in Winnipeg, also named Takashi, who's work is similar to what you are discussing.

Now I know it's called Superflat. Thanks!

Maybe it's time for me to take a modern history of art course again. I'm beginning to realize that there are a lot of new styles with names that I am unaware.

KJ said...

It would probably be useful, fun even, to take such a course, but if you've got a query, the answer is out there. Maybe I don't have the big degrees, but I never stop learning! Trouble is, sometimes we don't know what the question is!

Daphne said...

I don't want to write essays or exams anymore but I have always taking classes...