Murakami by Murakami

Written by Phoebe Scott (@ph0ebeanastasia)

I recently went to visit a close friend of mine in Norway and during my travels I was lucky enough to explore the capital – Oslo –  for a few days. Like in any city, the best way to experience it is to immerse yourself in the culture and events. Of course we did lots of touristy things like eating waffles with brown cheese, climbing to the top of the opera house and walking round the Vigeland sculpture park.

But we decided that the trip would be incomplete without visiting the Murakami by Murakami exhibition that was on at the Astrup Fearnley Museum. The museum is the first in Scandinavia to present Takashi Murakami’s work as a solo exhibition, which is so surprising when you see how large his canvases and sculptures are (see below).

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If you haven’t heard of Murakami then prepare to become obsessed. “The Japanese Andy Warhol” – as he is often referred to – has been making art for over twenty years, and this collection demonstrates the wide spectrum of his ‘Superflat’ artworks; the postmodern art movement which Murakami founded. His artwork is visually mind-blowing, and he clearly has a lot of fans; he’s the intelligence behind the iconic Kanye West ‘Graduation’ album artwork, and multiple fashion collaborations with Supreme, Vans, Comme des Garçons, Louis Vuitton and more.

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The detail in his work is incredible; every individual character on the canvas has been given his full attention, which is evident from the way he has even painted their fingernails. The decorative glitter-patterned backgrounds which add an other-worldly dimension to the piece simply can’t be appreciated through photos.

As well as these intricate paintings with bold colour palettes, as part of the display there was a screening of his full feature film ‘Jellyfish Eyes’ (2013) and some other smaller animations. There were also anime-inspired sculptures with a sexual twist.

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It’s insane how consistently talented Murakami is for an artist that uses so many different mediums. I think he indulges in anything he feels, communicating this through his work and his choice of medium. This is evident in this particular exhibition’s themes which range from Buddhism to sexual desire. Despite this vast contrast in his work, he manages to pull it off magnificently.

 

All photos c/o Phoebe Scott. 

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