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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Takashi Murakami is Louis Vuitton Art and Fashion Collide







(Image via)

(Image via)

More and more Fashion Houses are turning to Architects, Designers and Artists to promote their products and bring cache to their brand by collaborating with powerhouse brand name "Star"chitects, Designers and Pop Art artists to their own brand. Louis Vuitton invited Takashi Murakami to design their handbags and acccessories. When Takahashi had a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum of Art this further promoted the Brand. He is now at the Centre Pompidou and destined for the Tate Modern in London next.

Takashi Murakami now reigns as one of the leading pop artists. Originally from Japan, he remains somewhat of a cultural enigma. His pieces fetch upwards of 14 million dollars at auction. On one hand he is the prototypical Japanese industrial production machine operating much like the original Toyota/Lexus factory did with Mercedes/BMW - borrowing ideas from the West, improving on them, and then selling them back to the West. He dissects the best then repackages theideas in a new improved way. Murakami has borrowed ideas and methods from Warhol such as icons - Mickey Mouse but added his own spin to things recreating the character almost more creatively than Warhol. He captures Lichtensteins use of cartoons but again here he goes a step further and creates not only a cartoon character but his own movie Japanese animation characters. Like Jeff Koons, Murakami, borrows from popular culture the most cuddly and kid friendly ideas and sells them at all levels from stuffed animals to expensive life size mannequins and 2 dimensional art. He is his own PR machine and even offers PR and Branding services from his New York City studio. Like Koons he has a team of talented minnions creating new products and images constantly ( something Warhol invented in his Factory. ) Where Warhol used his films as a creative outlet and part PR - Murakami makes his fims to further promote his other art almost like propoganda. He presents his work as kid friendly, family friendly, and even club kid friendly. Granted some of his earlier work presents us with uncomfortable attention grabbing sexually explicit ideas similar to Koons and even hints at death as Warhol did with his car crashes and electric chair. This sensational rubber necking splash is more just to get our attention before he assaults us with cute little bunny characters and action figures. Like Koons, Murakami speaks to the child in us all that want to remember the world as it was when we were kids - before we knew what taxes and bills were. - Ecomanta

Like Andy Warhol, Takashi Murakami takes low culture and repackages it, and sells it to the highest bidder in the "high-art" market. Unlike Warhol, Murakami also makes his repacked low culture available to all other markets in the form of paintings, sculptures, videos, T-shirts, key chains, mouse pads, plush dolls, cell phone caddies, and $5,000 limited-edition Louis Vuitton handbags. This is comparable to Claes Oldenburg, who sold his own low art, high art pieces in his own store front in the 1960s. What makes Murakami different is his methods of production, and his work is not in one store front but many, ranging from toy stores, candy aisles, comic book stores, and the French design house of Louis Vuitton.


BEIRUT - Two new works by Takashi Murakami, created in collaboration with Louis Vuitton, will be exhibited in the Louis Vuitton Champs-Elysées Maison in Paris in January 2010.

These works are two types of hand-embroidered tapestries: a round carpet titled “Flowerball” and a square carpet titled “Pink Time”. Epitomizing skilled craftsmanship, the tapestries have been woven from the finest quality New Zealand wool using the lock stitching method, which employs about 20 knots per square centimeter. These tapestries, numbered and signed by the artist himself, are produced in two sizes (2m and 3m diameter for “Flowerball” and 2x2m or 3x3m for “Pink Time”), in a limited edition of 20 each. At least 4 months are required to produce one of these masterpieces, combining know-how, tradition, innovation, elegance and art. These “collector” art pieces are created by hand and upon request only, by manufacturers in India. Available for purchase, they will be exhibited next year in Paris, inside the Louis Vuitton Champs-Elysées Maison (January 2010), just after Murakami’s solo exhibition at Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin.

The tapestries have been shown this year in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao (as part of Murakami’s retrospective exhibition, © MURAKAMI), the Louis Vuitton Omotesando store in Tokyo, and in the Hong Kong Museum of Art (as part of the “Louis Vuitton: The Passion of Creation” exhibition).

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