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About the WorkThis Murakami print is based on the artist’s 2008/2009 Chrysanthemums series, which were described in Daily DuJour (Art & Cultural Exchange) this way:
“Among the paintings in the exhibition are Murakami’s new Chrysanthemums series of tondos (circular-format paintings), which refer to the 17th-century Japanese artist Ogata Kōrin whose white chrysanthemum motifs left a profound impression on Murakami. The flowers stand out on gold or platinum-leaf backgrounds in the purest Japanese tradition. The precious materials and format create a delicate contrast with the fragility of the ethereal plants. Murakami also pays tribute to another influential artist, Andy Warhol, in a series of tondos featuring candy-colored flowers on gold or platinum backgrounds.”
Like Murakami, Ogata Kōrin is famed for his bold designs but he also known for his striking contrasts on gold backgrounds. He defied tradition and developed a very original style, expressed in spare and simple highly idealized forms, and with absolute disregard for realism and convention. Murakami pays tribute to this artist’s style and sensibility by incorporating Kōrin thematic elements like the flowing river of gold (or red) into his own unique style.
“Kansei” is one of Ogata Korin’s aliases (as well as referring to “affective engineering” as mentioned before).
About the Artist
One of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from postwar Asia, Takashi Murakami—“the Warhol of Japan”—is known for his contemporary Pop synthesis of fine art and popular culture, particularly his use of a boldly graphic and colorful anime and manga cartoon style. Murakami became famous in the 1990s for his “Superflat” theory and for organizing the paradigmatic exhibition of that title, which linked the origins of contemporary Japanese visual culture to historical Japanese art. His output includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, animations, and collaborations with brands such as Louis Vuitton. “Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of “high art’,” Murakami says. “In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay—I’m ready with my hard hat.”