You've likely seen the famous Takashi Murakami Flower somewhere; In a magazine, celebrity home or article online. The famous smiling flower is recognizable for its unique variations, colours and appealing look. Some don't understand the reason for its popularity, likely your overthinking it or seem to be unfamiliar with the art world. Murakami is also quite famous for his collaboration on Kanye West's album cover for Graduation.
Many artists throughout several generations tend to have a famous design or figure like drawing that becomes a staple in their career. Andy Warhol has the famous Campbell's Soup can, Keith Haring has his dancing figures and doodle like characters and Blek Le Rat has his famous rat figures.
Takashi Murakami in front of his work. Image via Grailed.
Well Takashi Murakami has his smiling colourful flower design, it's sort of put him on the map in the art world. Don't get me wrong Murakami is a great artist and has other great art he's created but the famous flower is what he's well known for. The flowers look is joyful, cute and tend to be full of colour .. what's not to love? And pop culture is obsessed with it, to say the least.
Takashi Murakami Flower, What is it?
Takashi Murakami's artwork successfully blurs the art between high and lower culture. Takashi has collaborated successfully and used his art to produce products for many large brands. You can find the Murakami flowers today on fine art, pop culture and commercial products.
Takashi Murakami's multi-colored Flowers has made its mark in the contemporary art world, fashion, pop culture and beyond. Kanye West's album cover have featured the cheerful character, as well as Kid Cudi's necklace chains and Drake's hoodies. The Flowers have been dominating fashion since 1995 when the first Murakami Flowers artworks were released. Murakami's Louis Vuitton collaboration that heavily drew from the Flowers lasted nearly two decades. A Supreme x Takashi Murakami flowery box logo raised more than one million dollars for COVID-19 relief.
Soul to Soul - Takashi Murakami
Traditional Japanese painting is the source of the Murakami Flower. In Japanese traditional painting, the flower has been a significant symbol. Some of Takashi Murakami's flower artwork sells for millions of dollars today. It has taken over pop culture and Murakami Flowers are now found on many different objects. The Murakami Flower can be found on all things, from food packaging to pop culture and luxury goods.
Japanese Superflat Art Influence
It's difficult to talk about Takashi Murakami without mentioning the term "Superflat" that he invented. Superflat is a postmodern art music movement founded in Takashi Murakami. Superflat is inspired by Japan's rich history of flat art. It is also influenced heavily by manga and anime 2D images, which are both important to Japan's culture. It is also inspired by Japan's larger otaku culture. This refers to those who are obsessed with pop culture, including anime and manga.
Superflat, which transforms commercial items into art, blurs the lines between high and lower culture, much like pop art. Murakami believes that Japanese culture has been defined by the flattening between high art and low art.
This means there is very little to distinguish them from one another. Murakami's contribution to the Japanese Superflat art movement has been tremendous, he's put the movement on the map. Just like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol put the Pop Art movement on the map in the 90s.
Superflat art is known for its bold, cartoony outlines and flat colors. There are virtually no natural perspective or depth. Murakami's Celestial Flowers is a clear example of this. While sculptures and paintings are the most popular Superflat artforms today, the movement has had a significant influence on fashion, design, and other creative mediums.
Superflat can be used to describe various flatforms found in Japanese graphic arts. Magna and Anime are two Japanese movements that have influenced the movement. Takashi Murakami's Superflat Art Movement includes Japanese graphic arts, animations, pop culture, fine arts, and manga. The major artists considered Superflat are Takashi Murakami, Chiho Aoshima, Mahomi Kunikata, Sayuri Mishima, Yoshitomo, Aya Takano.
Takashi Murakami Flower Meaning
These Murakami Flower drawings go beyond flowers. You can see hidden tears in Murakami's Flowers. The smiley anime like smiling flower has many assumptions for what is means.
But in 2005 the artist revealed in a New York Times article that his smiling Flowers were a manifestation of the repressed emotions and collective trauma experienced by Japanese residents after the 1945 Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings. The most tragic events to take place in Japan. Murakami wanted to shine a light on what happened and how this catastrophe still effects some in Japan today.