Pity the poor parents who want to introduce their tots to the work of a contemporary artist like Takashi Murakami. Sure, all those laughing daisies and dancing bears are adorable, but how do you explain to Junior on a Saturday afternoon trip to the museum why that lady’s breasts are so big, or why that blonde dude is twirling a lasso of white stuff that’s coming out of his … uh, never mind. And forget about taking the wee ones to Murakami’s current show at Gagosian in London, unless you want to have to deal with questions about giant metal penises and giant metal vaginas and anime gals with even bigger breasts this time around.

Fortunately, there’s a relatively family-friendly Murakami piece the whole family can enjoy in the form of a delightful promo video the artist made a few years ago to commemorate his (then) six year collaboration with Louis Vuitton. It’s full of all the wacky shapes and colors that make Murakami’s work so captivating, minus all these distracting genitalia!

YouTube video

(Of course, there’s still the risk of nightmares about being ingested by a cuddly Pokemon-like character, but at least the kids won’t be asking questions about, you know, sex.)

John D’Addario is a veteran blogger (since 1996), adjunct professor of arts administration at the University of New Orleans, professional arts educator, photographer and man of the world. You can visit...

4 replies on “Tuesday Video: A Murakami For The Whole Family!”

  1. With his sub par animated work, massive “fan service” sculptures, purchasable mass-produced figurines, and hiring of a small fleet of workers to crank out his stuff, I’m convinced that he had actually failed in a pursuit in Japan’s anime industry and is just cranking out his unoriginal junk to a gullible art public that is unfamiliar with quality anime works.

    1. you couldn’t more wrong. he isn’t trying to promote art as this higher-than-thou medium or even something of quality but rather comments on the fact that art can be mass produced. he even harkens his studio as a factory, which he is more than self-aware of. moreover, he isn’t trying to break into the anime industry but is rather influenced by it and the world it occupies and projects which in turn gave birth to the whole superflat art movement. what you call “unoriginal junk” is his commentary on the commerciality of the whole anime business. you might as well call the art of andy warhol’s and roy lichenstein’s “unoriginal junk” as well because the kind of hubbub that surrounds murakami is exactly the same.

      1. Warhol and Lichtenstein explored new territory at the time, not all that unlike Duchamp’s “Fountain”. Murakami is not exploring new territory; it’s new to the art community that has no idea about the massive anime and manga industries. “Superflat”?! Oh, you mean taking already well established art forms and just packaging them into a format friendly to the apparently, incredibly naive art world for massive sales profit. Murakami is the Japanese Jeff Koons. Shameless and without integrity.

        1. i think i agree, in a way. he isn’t commenting on art, or on pop culture, or on manga, or anything, it just is pop culture, the same stream of detritus, but delivered by way of gallery. but perhaps that’s why it’s titilating to the art world. as we all know, contemporary art is obsessed with commenting, with concept. he witholds what is desired and so desire mounts.

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