Source: Gaigosan Gallery

Takashi Murakami’s art will be available for public viewing starting this week at the Gagosian Gallery for his first solo exhibition in Rome.

Murakami is credited for creating “Superflat,” a style of art which draws influence from Japanese otaku sub-cultures (manga and anime) in a colorful pop art format. From the galleries to the department stores, Murakami’s techni-color charged illustrations with images of smiling flowers, mushrooms with eyes, and a slew of other characters from a fantasy realm took the world by storm. An instant success, his product collaboration line of handbags, wallets, and purses with French design house Louis Vuitton took art to a whole new level of commercial success.

However, this time Murakami is being highlighted for a style he owns but more rooted in traditional Japanese art. He painted two monolithic dragons that will break your neck trying to look from one side to the other. Painted simply in two colors, red and blue, each piece is comprised of nine panels measuring a whopping eighteen meters (59 feet) long.

It will be interesting to hear what people will say about a style that most mainstream Murakami fans are not used to seeing.

–Made with Japan

The combination of red and blue with a creature that has long been thought as a symbol of one’s destiny is my attempt to reaffirm my devotion to art – the creative process for the paintings resembled a prayer offering.

–Takashi Murakami

“Two epic paintings – Dragon in Clouds – Red Mutation and Dragon in Clouds – Indigo Blue – each comprise nine panels and measure eighteen meters long. Cloud- and-dragon paintings, known as Unryūzu, were also key references for Soga Shōhaku, an eighteenth century Japanese artist whose eccentric and daring visual inventiveness has been a great inspiration for Murakami.

Unlike the dragon’s dark associations in Western iconography, the Japanese dragon – an amalgam of the Buddhist iconography that originated in India before reaching China and then Japan – is considered a symbol of good fortune and optimism. Several Buddhist and Shinto temples in Japan are designated as dragon shrines that denote the creature’s exalted status.

日本の現代アーティスト、村上 隆がローマのGagosian Galleryでソロ・エキシビテョンを今週スタート。「ルイ・ヴィトン ミーツ ネオ・ジャポニズム」と題したヴィトンとのコラボでもよく見られた、カラフルなポップアートを期待していたファンはガッカリするかもしれません。Gagosian Galleryに展示されている作品は、パネル9個の幅18メートルに描かれた巨大な赤い龍と青い龍。メインストリームうけもしてきたアニメ風のカワイイ作品と比べると今回は日本画のルーツがある渋い路線。世界中のファンがどうリアクションをとるか興味深いです。

Takashi Murakami
November 13, 2010 – January 15, 2011
Via Francesco Crispi 16 00187 Rome T. 39.06.4208.6498 F. 39.06.4201.4765 roma@gagosian.com Hours: Tue-Sat 10:30-7 & by appointment

Gaigosan Gallery

Tags: Art, Dragon, Gagosian Gallery, Japan, made with japan, Rome, Superflat, Takashi Murakami, ローマ, 村上 隆, 現代アート

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