Takashi Murakami Exhibition Opens in London

posted on by Andrew Osmond
Paintings and sculptures by Superflat creator at London's Gagosian gallery.

Sculptures and paintings by Takashi Murakami, the creator of the "Superflat" art style, are now on display at London's Gagosian galley near Kings Cross St Pancras station (map). The exhibition is open from Tuesdays to Saturdays (1000 to 1800), until August 5.

An Evening Standard newspaper review describes the exhibition as "a satire of Japanese culture (...) [Murakami's] subject is the 'male sexual complex' in Japan, which, he argues, emerged from manga, animé cartoons and video games. A group of sculptures present kitsch, Playboy-like fantasy figures." According to the review, Murakami also commissioned manga and anime artists to rework 19th-century nude paintings, with "disconcerting results (...) child-woman hybrids, with porn-inspired circular breasts and classic childlike manga faces."

A blog report on the Guardian newspaper website adds that the exhibition offers a free giveaway, "a factory-made cardboard kit that folds together to make your very own miniaturised Murakami sculpture. The sculpture is a brightly coloured doll that resembles one of the works in the exhibition."

The exhibition website mentions that Murakami's collaborators on the sculptures include manga artist Seiji Matsuyama. His manga Oku-sama wa Shōgakusei (My Wife Is an Elementary Student) was listed as a 'harmful publication' by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government this April. Such titles are being considered for restriction under Tokyo's Youth Healthy Development Ordinance.

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