With Japan on my mind and actually in so many people’s minds these days I decided to write today about the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami who was recently in the center of several segments on the European cultural TV stations.

source http://www.takashimurakami.com/

Murakami is an example of the combination of classical and popular culture that are the two principal coordinates of modern Japan. In many places they live one near the other, but in his case they seem to have merged and this is reflected in the biography of the artist and in the art that he creates. He studied classical Japanese painting but was and is fascinated by the Japanese styles of animation and comics anime and manga.More information about the artist biography can be read on his Web site http://www.takashimurakami.com/.

Mr. Dob - source http://www.takashimurakami.com/

The influence of the major pop artists especial American is also quite visible. Murakami’s work creates symbols and characters inspired by the manga world as Roy Lichtenstein did and then upscales them in dimensions or downscales them to the commercialized gadgets industry objects in a manner that reminds Andy Warhol. He did create actually a whole industry around these objects and you can buy ‘a Murakami’ in many tourist souvenir shops.

source http://www.dezeen.com/

One could also find his bigger scale works at the Versailles Castle last year, in an exhibition that caused a lot of controversy. See more pictures at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2010/sep/10/takashi-murakami-palace-versailles and read about the controversy at http://www.smh.com.au/travel/travel-news/japanese-manga-controversy-hits-versailles-20100914-159xv.html.

source hypebeast.com

That was not his first major show in Europe. A year before an exhibition dedicated to his superflat style sponsored by Louis Vutton was organized at the Guggenheim Bilbao. More details can be read at http://www.ilvoelv.com/2009/02/takashi-murakami-retrospective-at.html.

(video source mondaygirl)

Here is also anterview with Takashi Murakami by Jonathan Ross in Japanorama a series of documentaries realized in 2006-2007 by the BBC about life and art in modern Japan.