Takashi Murakami is known for his brightly colored and maniacally cheerful works. His rise to fame in contemporary art world has been met with equal parts celebration and criticism. Murakami merges Japanese pop culture referents with the country’s rich artistic legacy, effectively obliterating any distinction between commodity and high art.
He is compared to Andy Warhol for his art-as-business approach. His critics have derided him as a sell-out as playing into the art market’s increasing demands for easily consumable and exotic art from Japan but this is a compliment and what Murakami intends to do. His works draws inspiration from the Japanese subculture “Otaku” and through this, he crafts a subtle critique of Japan’s contemporary culture as well as the West’s intruding influence upon it.