The Colorful World of Takashi Murakami

If you know anything at all about pop art, you may very well already know the name Takashi Murakami. Born in Tokyo in 1962, Murakami works in fine arts as well as digital and commercial media. His ability to combine the aesthetics of both high and low art has captured the attention of thousands of fans, not to mention making him a hot commodity when it comes to collaborative efforts.

[St A Sh]


Murakami’s creations have strong roots in the popularity of anime and manga in Japanese culture. Murakami is passionate about otaku culture (people with obsessive interests) and coined the term Superflat based in the inspiration he pulled from J-culture (characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga). Considering that Murakami has openly stated that he feels most Japanese art is “a shallow appropriation of Western trends”, he’s certainly pushing hard against that idea with his powerful artistic statements.


Murakami has often been called the Japanese Andy Warhol. He certainly caught people’s attention when he sold an explicit statue of a young anime boy masturbating for 15 million dollars (called “My Lonesome Cowboy”). While this thrilled some people and incensed others, it certainly further cemented Murakami as an artist making a statement.  He is best known for his collaboration with famous fashion designer Louis Vuitton in 2003, making a pattern called Cherry Blossom that sold millions. Vuitton and Murakami release a new collaboration this year called Cosmic Blossom.

[Louis Vuitton]


Whatever your opinion of Murakami’s art is, you certainly can’t say that it’s easily forgettable. Check out the gallery below to get a better feel for the Superflat style. Do you find it inspiring, or is it too loud for your tastes? If you’re inspired copy the image’s URL and paste it into PHOTOCOPA to make a palette.








[Graham Coreil-Allen]

Colette has written for a number of video game websites including Gamasutra, Kotaku, and Destructoid and co-hosted one hundred episodes of gaming podcast RetroforceGo! She also founded her own collectible toy culture blog in 2008,, which has since served the needs of over 2 million plastic-obsessed readers.