Takashi Murakami (b. 1963), is one of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking Japanese artists of the 1990s. His work ranges from cartoony paintings to quasi-minimalist sculptures to giant inflatable balloons to performance events to factory-produced watches, T-shirts, and other products, many emblazoned with his signature character, Mr DOB.
Takashi Murakami was born in Tokyo in 1963 and received his BFA, MFA and PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music. He has had recent solo shows at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York (2003); Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris (2002); Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2001); Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2001); and Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris (2001).
In addition to his work as an artist, Takashi Murakami is a curator, entrepreneur, and student of contemporary Japanese society. In 2000, Murakami curated an exhibition of Japanese art titled Superflat, which acknowledged a movement toward mass-produced entertainment and its effects on contemporary aesthetics. Murakami is also internationally recognised for his collaboration with designer Marc Jacobs to create handbags and other products for the Louis Vuitton fashion house.
Takashi Murakami’s work has been exhibited in prestigious museums all over the world, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; and a recent solo retrospective exhibition at the Bard College Museum of Art. Through his work, Murakami has played with these oppositions in East and West, past and present, high art and low culture while remaining consistently amusing and accessible. His work morphs the worlds of popular contemporary Japanese cartoons and historic Japanese painting (he is classically trained, with a PhD in the traditional nihonga style). His recurring character, Mr DOB, appears on t-shirts, posters, key chains, etc. worldwide and has even come to life in the form of one of these 3-D sculptures. Murakami has also curated “Super Flat” an exhibition of contemporary Japanese artists.