Gagosian’s second season of Artist Spotlight—a series that focuses on an individual artist for one week each month—presents a never-before-seen painting by Takashi Murakami. The work has been revealed today Friday, December 11th, at gagosian.com and is available for sale for 48 hrs only.
Since the early 1990s Murakami has invented characters that combine aspects of popular cartoons from Japan, Europe, and the United States—from Mr. DOB, who sometimes serves as a stand-in for the artist himself, to various anime characters and smiling flowers and bears. These figures act as icons and symbols—hosts for more complex themes of violence, technology, and imagination. Many of Murakami’s images also contain explicit art historical references, and some are direct contemporary updates on traditional Japanese works.
Not only does Murakami merge different time periods, styles, and subject matter, but his approach to art crosses the boundaries between gallery, studio, art fair, and media as well. Along with creating paintings and sculptures, he has hosted art fairs for emerging artists, curated exhibitions, and made films featuring his many characters and motifs.
Combining fantasy, science, and history, he shows that none of these categories can be considered in isolation. On December 9, Gagosian Quarterly published a new essay by Murakami on the subject of his collection of contemporary Japanese ceramics and his enduring relationships with key figures of the seikatsu kögei (“lifestyle crafts”) movement.
As Gagosian’s galleries begin reopening worldwide, the Artist Spotlight series will pursue a new vision alongside the gallery’s ongoing exhibition program. The initiative, which launched in April 2020 in response to the pandemic crisis, has opened the way for a dynamic new platform that allows artists to exhibit imaginatively in the digital realm and share their work and stories online with Gagosian’s global audience. #GagosianSpotlight
Artist Spotlight: Takashi Murakami Gagosian.com from Friday December 11th