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Takashi MURAKAMI Biography

Takashi Murakami, known as the Japanese Andy Warhol, became famous in the 1990s for his Superflat theory, which blurs the lines between “high” and “low” art. Murakami was born in Japan in 1962 and from a young age was drawn to anime and magna comics. At the Tokyo University of the Arts he majored and received a Ph.D. in Nihonga, the traditional style of Japanese painting, yet could not allow himself to become a professional artist in Nihonga. He couldn’t overlook his disappointment in Japanese contemporary art, which he felt was blindly following Western trends.


In 1994, he found great inspiration by artists such a Jeff Koons and Anselm Kiefer while participating in a one-year fellowship in New York through the Asian Cultural Council. Upon his return to Japan, Murakami produced Superflat, which is the layering of two- dimensional anime images on high gloss surfaces. He also composed a series of singular anime sculptures, and one called My Lonesome Cowboy (1998), which sold at Sotheby’s for $13.5 million. 

Murakami has tried to strengthen Japan’s contemporary scene by heading GEISAI, a bi-annual art fair that allows artists to create their own booths and speak with clients directly. He also founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later became Kaikai Kiki, an art management corporation that fosters emerging artists. Murakami continues to travel around the world holding exhibitions, but lives and works mainly in Japan.


Takashi Murakami has work featured in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Ackland Art Museum at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Harvard University Art Museums in Cambridge, Kresge Art Museum at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Takashi Murakami in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Database, Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane, Australia, and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.