8.13.2010

East Meets West >> Murakami at Versailles


Takashi Murakami is exhibiting at Versailles!  I caught the Murakami show at the Brooklyn Museum a couple of years ago, but would LOVE to see his work in this setting. 


 Murakami is known for his play on the intersection of high and low, appropriating both Japanese anime and traditional forms of Japanese painting and often producing his work through mass production.  Exploring similar themes as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, etc., such as mass media, pop culture, and consumerism, he is considered one of the most prolific Japanese pop artists (albeit a few decades after the West's pop art movement). 


Here's the artist's statement about the show-- pretty interesting:

For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.
Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.

Similar to Keith Haring, who sold his own work out of a storefront, Murakami also lends his name and his "Superflat" style to other projects.  One such project was an ongoing collaboration with Marc Jacobs on a limited edition Louis Vuitton bags, which they even sold within the museums where Murakami was exhibiting.

They effectively set up a pop-up Louis Vuitton store within the Brooklyn Museum during his show, selling bags for $5,000 and canvases for $10,000... now if that doesn't blur lines between art and commodity, I don't know what does.
 


Here is Marc Jacobs on working with Murakami:



Apparently Kanye caught the Superflat bug as well and collaborated with Murakami on the "Good Morning" video...

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