I just got back from my roadtrip to see Murakami! It was absolutely astounding! I have so much inspiration, joy and ideas about the show. I’ll have a hard time talking about everything I saw there because I think I’m incapable of communicating the splendor in one blog post. But WOW was it refreshing and I try my best to describe myself anyways..
Some of the major themes I loved was the merging of the eastern and western art traditions. Although Murakami’s style come from japanese anime/manga. His technique is absolutely western since he uses silkscreens on canvas. The japanese sensibilities were so fun to lose oneself. Like a candy shop full of sweet images that the eye can devour one after the other. I
saw the art that the artist made with the musician Kanye West and I felt the cool, american pop star glamour. In one room there were two sculptures of maybe six or seven foot tall anime characters. The characters were made in the 1990’s and one was named “My Lonesome Cowboy” and what shocked me about this piece was not that it was nude, but the sculpture was ejaculating! The semen swirled around the free standing male figure in a delightsome, fantastical gesture. His female counterpart had huge breasts the were as big as her already huge head, and produced milk that swirled around her in a similar delightsome fashion! I thought the sculptures were very chic and playful. The backdrop for the sculptures was a giant blue canvas painting with what looked like squirting semen or breasts milk. The painting was so huge it could have been appreciated as an abstract painting. I thought this was fabulous.
In one room there was a small abstract painting with word "VIRAL" written on it. I thought how powerful this painting was because the work was made in 2018. I felt the rush of energy since in my own body of work I have one viral painting.
I also was drawn to his "SuperPaint" paintimg which included a series of multicolored eyes. This was a superb work for many reasons that I can't quiet verbally explain..
There was also another sculpture of Murakami as an arhat. It was maybe about two feet tall, and a surrealistic self portrait of the artist The sculpture was wearing distressed clothes and bare feet that looked like needed a pedicure since they were very dirty and split nailed. The idea of the self portrait sculpture came from the “Arhat” who are buddhist shamans that bring comfort during times of chaos. I thought how very decadent of him to represent himself in this way. THe whole exhibit was decadent similar to the rococo period, lots of pastels, small details, emotional, and not space left empty, but filled with womderful looking art.
Also, in the museum I saw many Andy Warhol paintings. The flowers series and a marilyn monroe. The immense power and reverence I felt was very intense. I love Warhol and I felt the reverberation of his spirit in the room.
After that museum A an I went to the Kimball art gallery next door. It was free to attend which I thought was absolutely fabulous! There were three sections, an asian one, a european one and an african/americas section. This was a refreshing gallery to get into because of how canonical the works were. In the Japanese art room it was exciting to see the influences that Murakami had with the ancient japanese golden artworks featuring flowers, gold, silver and nature. A theme common in Murakami’s work. What I also loved was the European section which had many famous names. I saw a bernini sculpture for the first time! Caravaggio was also there. Also El Greco, Rembrandt, Picasso, Mondrian(who was so cool and chic) and Vincent Van gogh among MANY others. I loved this because I was seeing many great major artist for the very first time! And finally getting to see the works with my own eyes instead of reading about them in books was astounding. *sigh* it was such a lovely time! <3