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Takashi Murakami @ the Brooklyn Museum

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If you like Japanese anime and manga you should see the new © Murakami exhibition (April 5-July 13, 2008) at the Brooklyn Museum. This is the first major retrospective on the works of Japanese artist/designer Takashi Murakami, who is known as the Warhol of Japan. It focuses on his work from 1991-2000, “when the artist began exploring his own reality through an investigation of branding and identity." From "© MURAKAMI: Brooklyn Museum Photo Gallery”

The colors are vibrant and his creations are fun, but nonetheless the show has been receiving some mixed criticisms. In the article “Popping Up In Brooklyn” by Lance Esplund (NY Sun, April 3, 2008) states the following:

“An unflinching and unapologetic, nearly 20,000-square-foot celebration of the lowbrow horrors and banalities of commercialism, materialism, fashion, and pop culture… nothing more than a marketing machine for the dissemination and blatant merchandising of a brand…” In doing a basic search online for the exhibit, one gets bombarded with the fact that within the show is “a fully operational Louis Vuitton shop selling some of Mr. Murakami’s designs”. The entire exhibit does have a sense of commercialism, but that is the intent of the artist. “Mr. Murakami says his product designs are simply an extension of his art“ and the shop “is the heart of the exhibition”.

From “Watch Out, Warhol, Here’s Japanese Shock Pop” by Carol Vogel (NY Times, April 2, 2008) This is an interesting show to see and as an added bonus you can still catch the Cherry Blossoms in bloom behind the building at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (April 5th – May 11th). 

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