Why is Takashi Murakami So Popular? The Japanese Artist Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami, Japanese Artist

Takashi Murakami is one of the most successful and well-known Japanese artists. His art teacher once called him “talentless” and said he had absolutely no ability to put any colors together. Today Takashi Murakami is considered an artistic trailblazer blazer.

Takashi Murakami’s art successfully blurs the art lines between high and low culture. Takashi has successfully collaborated and used his art on products produced by many major brands. Today you can see the Murakami flowers on fine art, pop culture, fashion, to commercial products.

Takashi Murakami, At Tai Kwun’s JC Contemporary Art Gallery, Hong Kong
Takashi Murakami, At Tai Kwun’s JC Contemporary Art Gallery, Hong Kong

The Popularity of The Iconic Artist Takashi

Takashi Murakami is a contemporary Japanese artist known for blurring the lines between high art and commercial art. He is an artistic trailblazer that has changed the artwork.

In 2002 he totally changed the way we view the iconic brand Louis Vuitton. Takashi collaborated with Louis Vuitton to design a series of handbags using its monograms in ways it has never been used before. It was a huge success and helped Takashi become a commercial success.

His relationship with Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs lasted for 13 years. That is by all account a long time for an artist to collaborate with a brand.

Some art critics felt that he was using his art with too much commercialization; it took away from the art. For example, during a Takashi Murakamiart exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, there was also a pop-up store selling Louis Vuitton handbags

Paul Schimmel, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chief Curator, said to the New York Times how Takashi Murakami understood commercialization and art.

“One of the most radical aspects of Murakami’s work is his willingness both to embrace and exploit the idea of his brand, to mingle his identity with a corporate identity and play with that. He realized from the beginning that if you don’t address the commercial aspect of the work, it’s somehow like the elephant in the room.”

Paul Schimmel, MOCA’S CHIEF CURATOR 

In 2007 Takashi Murakami provided the cover artwork for the rapper Kanye West’s album “Graduation.” He also directed an animation video for “Good Morning” and a music video for Billie Eilish for his song “You Should See Me in a Crown.”

You can watch the official video of Billie Eilish, You Can See Me In The Crown below.

In 2010 the Palace of Versailles in France had a Takashi Murakami Art Exhibition within the palace. Many of these pieces also included his Murakami flowers.

He has also teamed up with the French water brand Perrier to add decoration to their bottles. The bottles have his icon flowers and art style on them.

All of this has helped Takashi become an international star, especially in China and the United States. This, plus his well-known commercial projects, has helped him rise to artistic stardom and popularity.

Below is a really great interview by Carlos Watson from the Carlos Watson Show when he interviewed Takashi.

The Murakami Flower

One of Takashi Murakami’s most iconic images is Murakami Flower. The first time Murakami flowers were shown was in 1995. You can see these Murakami Flowers on everything from jewelry, watches, shoes, skateboards, clothing, and bags.

The Murakami Flower has its roots in me traditional Japanese painting. The flower has always been an important symbol in Japanese traditional painting.

Takashi Murakami, At Tai Kwun’s JC Contemporary Art Gallery, Hong Kong
Takashi Murakami, At Tai Kwun’s JC Contemporary Art Gallery, Hong Kong

Takashi Murakami’s flower artwork sells for millions of dollars. But it has also taken over pop culture, and the Murakami Flowers can be found on all types of objects. The Murakami Flower is found on everything from food packaging to pop culture to luxury goods; the Murakami Flower has transcended all kinds of art.

But these Murakami Flower drawings are not just simply flowers. When you look at his Murakami Flowers you can see that the flowers have some hidden tears.

Takashi Murakami and the Murakami Flowers have bridged the gap between consumerism, fine Art, fashion, pop-culture, and streetwear; all of these art forms have been touched with Murakami Flowers.

Takashi Murakami shows us all that fine artists can also be successful commercial artists and that fine artist can collaborate with well-known and iconic brands.

The discover more about these Murakami Flowers, below is a “Behind the Hype” Video called “The Hysteria of This Flower Explained – Murakami Flowers.”

Superflat Art Movement

It is tough to talk about Takashi Murakami without talking about the word he coined called “Superflat.” Superflat is a post-modern art music movement founded by Takashi Murakami.

Superflat is used to refer to various flatforms in Japanese graphic arts. The movement is influenced by two Japanese movements Magna and Anime, which are:

  • Manga – Manga is Japanese art from comics and graphic novels; the art refers to comics and cartooning. Most Manga arts conform to Japan’s style in the late 19th century; the art form originated from early Japanese art.
  • Anime – Anime is a hand-drawn or computer animation art form that originated in Japan. Anime describes all animated works regardless of style or origin. Outside of Japan and in English, any animation influenced by the Japanese style is called anime-influenced animation. The earliest commercial Japanese animation goes back to 1917.

Takashi Murakami’s Superflat art movement includes various Japanese graphic arts, animation, pop culture, and fine arts. The major artists considered Superflat are Takashi Murakami, Chiho Aoshima, Mahomi Kunikata, Sayuri Mishima, Yoshitomo, Aya Takano.

American artists have also embraced Superflat with a hybrid version called SoFlo Superflat. The American SoFlo Superflat started in Miami in the 1990s and was an urban pop art movement in South Florida that combines super bright colors and ultra-flat images.

The subject matters could be quite diverse, but SoFlo Superflat was the outcrop of the Japanese Superflat art movement. The artists who work is considered SoFlo Superflat is Britto, Caron Bowman, Raul Cremata, Ceron, Ed King, and Jose Alvares.

Takashi Murakami Is a great example of how artists can use their work as fine art and commercial art. He truly is a trailblazer that has paved the way for other artists to follow him.

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Anita Louise Hummel

Hi, I am Anita Louise Hummel. I am an artist and a blogger. I paint mainly oil paints. I love to paint women, animals (mainly dogs and cats), and abstracts. I use a lot of gold and silver leaf in my paintings. I also love to blog about anything to do with art, business, Procreate, and all the wonderful artists that inspire me.

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Takashi Murakami, Japanese Artist