“The paintings, sculptures, and balloons of Takashi Murakami are colorful and attractive, and accessible in their reference to lovable cartoon characters. Murakami uses his deep understanding of Western art to integrate his work into its structure; working from the inside to portray “Japanese-ness” as a tool to bring about revolution in the world of art.
As an artist, Murakami questions the lines drawn between East and West, past and present, high art and popular culture. Not stopping with the production of artworks, Murakami shocked the world with his entrepreneurial collaboration with Louis Vuitton, when he challenged the divide between art and commerce.”
“In 2000, Murakami published his “Superflat” theory in the catalogue for a group exhibition of the same name that he curated for the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The theory posits that there is a legacy of flat, 2-dimensional imagery which has existed throughout Japanese art history and continues today in manga and anime. This style differentiates itself from the western approach in its emphasis on surface and use of flat planes of color. Superflat also served as a commentary on post-war Japanese society in which, Murakami argues, differences in social class and popular taste have ‘flattened,’ producing a culture with little distinction between ‘high’ and ‘low’. The theory provided the contextual background for his work and he further elaborated on it with the subsequent exhibitions”
His ‘superflat’ theory is really interesting if you ever get the chance to read it.