Takashi Murakami’s California Dreams
Takashi Murakami has had a big week in L.A. On Tuesday, the artist premiered Jellyfish Eyes—his first live-action-meets-CGI feature film—at MOCA. And last night, he bowed an exhibition of new paintings and sculpture at Blum & Poe. Built on the ideas he presented for Ego, his 2012 exhibit in Qatar, the show—titled Arhat—includes scaled paintings, wall-mounted sculptures, and steel sculptures that combine his signature slick pop with newer self-referential themes. “Before, I saw how consumers know Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, and I worked in the same place,” Murakami said of his previous collections. But it was the 2011 tsunami that deeply affected his work—and ultimately elicited a shift. “I totally stepped back from the mainstream and really was focusing personally and on identity.”
Guests such as Co’s Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, Benedikt Taschen, and Eva and Michael Chow toasted the artist’s sixth solo exhibition with the gallery—and his first major presentation in the U.S. in over four years. Peter Pilotto, in town for the British Fashion Council’s London Show Rooms, expressed a particularly keen appreciation for the artist’s creations. “It’s all about craft; we always look super closely at the techniques and how he does it,” he said, marveling at the intense, intricate artistry in each piece. And as a fellow lover of graphic prints, one might say he and Murakami are kindred spirits. “When you see those paintings, you really have to get into them. There is so much information—I really analyze it.”
Arhat runs from April 13 through May 25 at Blum & Poe, 2727 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90034, 310-836-2062.