Takashi Murakami - Asia's answer to Damien Hirst Jeff Koons.
Japanese illustrator & contemporary sculptor, Takashi Murakami spawns character induced narratives that are playful yet steeped in self-signified importance that are curious to receive. Inventor of the 'Superflat' method; combining classical Japanese art with contemporary Japanese pop culture, he has successfully crafted his own genre of art which transitions his practice from fine art into the commercial field. In a similar vein to Damien Hirst, or Jeff Koons Murakami has successfully promoted his art as a brand appealing to the Asian, European & American art markets collectively.
He rose to attention in the 1990s when organising an exhibition launching his Superflat practice in a similar way to Damien Hirst beginning the YBAs movement at the Freeze exhibition of the same period. It is said to represent the reclaiming of Japanese contemporary art, which Murakami considered to be heavily influenced by western art. The Superflat theory supplied the context and future direction of Murakami's practice, which grew with each exhibition as other artists adopted this theory to express their own style.
Murakami's style takes the form of manga/anime paintings & sculptures featuring flat planes of gloss colour and recurring motifs of smiling flowers.
The artist has established himself as an influential figure in the international art market with his works typically selling for £500,000.00. The anime-inspired scuplture, 'My Lonesome Cowboy', 1998, sold for £10.5Million at Sotheby's in May 2008. His only retrospective to date toured the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, the Museum Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt & the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain between 2007 - 2009.