As a writer, when I hear the name Murakami the first thing that surfaces to mind is a lachrymose but handsome man in his late twenties, dipping a roll of cucumber sushi into a shallow bowl of soy sauce; he’s sitting by a sunlit window in his otherwise dank apartment, staring out into the busy sidewalk, contemplating possible outcomes to some mysterious quandary that he’s slowly but rather desperately trying to unfold.
This post isn’t about that Murakami, Haruki. It’s about another Murakami – Takashi Murakami.
Like a second moon, Takashi’s work draws its viewer in with its colourful aesthetic beauty, but then makes her roll her head around in circles, contemplating the meaning underneath the lines. It’s not just a psychedelic trip for the sober eye. Or a giant fart of satire carefully lobbed into the giant pretentious face of ‘high art’. It’s an exploration into the inevitable decay of everything that is, and of everything that will one day be.
Whether that is actually his intent or not isn’t much of my business. As a viewer, it’s what I see, a meaning superimposed or projected onto Murakami’s work, by me.
What Murakami has more obviously done however is coin and galvanise what’s known as ‘Superflat’ art. For Murakami, the Superflat art form served as a commentary on post-war Japanese society, a place now defined by a blurred distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’, assumedly a reference to the classes and their now not-so-distinct tastes.
Anyway. I’ve been a Murakami lover for a few years now. But it’s time to start that love affair all over again, in a completely different way.
If you wanna check out Takashi’s awesome works, click here and dive down the rabbit’s hole. For just a little taste, keep on scrollin’.