b. 1962 Tokyo, Japan
Takashi Murakami is a prolific contemporary Japanese artist who blurs the boundaries between high and low art. He appropriates popular themes from mass media and pop culture, then turns them into thirty-foot sculptures, "Superflat" paintings, or marketable commercial goods such as figurines or phone caddies.
Takashi Murakami attended the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, initially studying more traditional Japanese art. He later became passionate about otaku culture, which he felt was more representative of modern-day Japanese life. This resulted in Superflat, the style that Murakami is credited with starting. It is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga, which comment on otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism and sexual fetishism.
Murakami's style is an amalgam of his Western predecessors, Warhol, Oldenberg and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as Japanese predecessors and contemporaries of anime and manga. He has successfully marketed himself to Western culture and to Japan in the form of Kaikai Kiki and GEISAI.