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Mingling Identities: A Conversation with Takashi Murakami
by Jan Garden Castro

Takashi Murakami’s status as an international art star is enhanced by his reputation for marketing complex concepts that are, in some ways, disguised as “eye candy.” His vision, his processes, and the way in which his work resonates with viewers all contribute to his popularity. As Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (MOCA LA) director Jeremy Strick points out, “Trained in the school of nihonga—traditional Japanese-style painting—Murakami has created works that bridge that tradition and the worlds of contemporary art, design, animation, fashion, and popular culture. Murakami’s sculpture integrates the playful and the ironic, innocence and experience, goodness and violence, the spiritual and secular, and, above all, perhaps, Japanese and American art histories, as well as the otaku, manga, and anime youth cultures of Japan.”

Installation view of © Murakami at MOCA,
the Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles, 2007.

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