Takashi Murakami is a Japanese artist born in 1962 and entrepreneur widely recognized for his ability to adapt the aesthetics of Japanese traditional art to operate within the context of popular culture. He works in fine arts media (such as painting and sculpture) as well as commercial (such as fashion, merchandise, and animation) and is known for blurring the line between high and low arts as well as co aesthetic characteristics of the Japanese artistic tradition. Trained in traditional Japanese art, Murakami saw similarities between the flat composition of Japanese painting and the simplified aesthetics of anime (Japanese animation) and manga (Japanese comics). His style, which emphasized two-dimensional forms and bold, striking imagery, gave birth to an artistic movement known as Superflat, which not only acknowledged but glorified the interaction between the commercial and art worlds. After curating an exhibition in 2002 at the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris, Murakami collaborated in 2003 with Marc Jacobs, artistic director of the Louis Vuitton fashion house, to produce fashion accessories. He earned celebrity status in May 2003 when his Miss Ko2 (pronounced “ko ko”)—a life-size fiberglass sculpture of a large-breasted blonde waitress in a petite uniform—was auctioned at a price that set a record for a work by a contemporary Japanese artist.
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