I admit to being obsessed with very few things, but when it comes to the work of Takashi Murakami, there is no way I can conceal my giddiness.
His work makes me smile. His art is happy and powerful, making the monsters in us look innocent. His colors would light up any space.
In fact, I am so taken by his art that if a stranger were to observe my behavior, they might even take me for a stalker, a stalker of Murakami’s professional life.
A few years ago, I went to Tokyo, and when my prayers were not answered and I did not just miraculously bump into Takashi (first-name basis in my fantasy world) on the streets, I took matters into my own hands. Kaikai Kiki, the art school he founded, was my next stop. I tried multiple channels and finally managed to book a tour. If I couldn’t meet him by chance, I was determined to try to absorb his energy just in his space. I went to Kaikai Kiki assuming defeat, but assured myself that just watching his students’ works would be deeply satisfying. I spent the day there and got lost in his world. So lost, in fact, that I actually had to do a triple take when I saw Murakami walk into one of the rooms. He had apparently held himself hostage at the school for many days, sleeping on a mat on the floor to work on a project. I was amazed by the humbleness and simplicity of such a great artist. My brain had no time to process, and before I knew it, I was introducing myself to him as his biggest fan, absorbing all of his tips on how to enjoy Tokyo best.
My life’s dream came true. I just could not believe it! And then it got better…. Some time later, while attending one of his shows, he and I made eye contact and he shouted, “Hi, Mikati!” Murakami and I were officially on a surname basis! I took this as the entrée to a relationship beyond stalker/stalkee.
He recently made me blush when he started following me on Instagram. And I am waiting for him to deliver on a promise to visit Lebanon!
Like his art, he makes me smile.
For more information, visit http://www.takashimurakami.com.
Photos: Courtesy of Mira Mikati