Art Week

Our Favorite Murakami Shots from Our Archives

A retrospective that’s equal parts Louis Vuitton and large-scale installations.

By: Meagan Wilson

If there’s one artist whose ties to the fashion world blur the boundaries of his actual practice, it’s Takashi Murakami. After all, it’s Murakami’s range of creations for Louis Vuitton that more or less defined the whole ‘It’ bag thing—his collaboration with the brand spanned over a decade (and now makes for an especially spectacular, kitschy-cool ’00s throwback). But even beyond the piles of cartoon-y, rainbow-hued monogram Speedys and box bags we’ve seen in our day are the incredible pieces of artwork by Murakami (as in art art) we’ve seen in our Coveteur’s homes, too (and that one time at Art Basel). We’ve come to think of it like our very own Where’s Waldo—only with an incredibly prolific Japanese artist known to some as the second coming of Warhol. Casual?

P.S.: Click through our gallery below to catch all of the stories behind these pieces. Happy scrolling!

 

“This is in our son’s bedroom/nursery and I felt the lithograph and pillow made sense. I got the pillow at Colette in Paris and my wife bought the litho at the MOCA show years back when Murakami had his exhibition there. My son, London, already has diamond chains and a Rolex, but I’m gonna start him off easy. Maybe when he turns five I’ll give him that Frank Lopez (Scarface) swagger. As for clothing, he has custom Supras, baby Dior shoes and clothes, baby Gucci, baby Hermès, and of course the basic Target brand onesies so he can feel regular. After my Coveteur shoot, this LV Camo made the Popular page on Instagram and a guy made an offer I couldn’t refuse. I got a lot of use of it, so it’s on to someone else now. I love Murakami and KAWS—my two favorite living artists out now.”

“Living in Tokyo, art is an important part of my life. Obviously I am inspired by Japanese pop artists like Murakami and Yayoi Kusama. Just after I had put down the deposit for my new apartment, I took my boyfriend to show him some Murakamis that I was thinking to buy. [I asked him whether I] should have the silver or the gold? I bought the gold, and he surprised me and bought me the silver because he said they should never be parted, like us. So there they sit, on my wall, together.”

“I became a fan of Murakami after a visit to Japan. This vibrant wall color truly engulfs you in emotion and is very invigorating. It gives me a feeling of St. Barts every morning.”

“I’m always amazed by Louis Vuitton’s choices in collaborations. They have mastered the concept of iconic. The Murakami bags that I’ve collected were all by luck…chance walk-bys by myself or friends during launches in Honolulu, Shanghai, and Tokyo.”

“That’s Murakami’s Kiki wearing a part of my Balenciaga bracelet. Kiki was a gift from my brother. He says she reminds him of me.”

“This bag was conquered at a walk-by store event in Honolulu.”

“The Murakami guards make me smile. He is one of the pop artists from today that is in the collection. I enjoy looking at them when we dine; they make the meal more fun and happy.”

“[Inspiration comes from] my little universe, my love for colors and the artists that I’m passionate about, such as Kaws and Murakami, to name a few. And from my life mantra, ‘Never grow up,’ ‘Once you are grown-up you can’t come back,’ ‘All children except one grow up,’ from Peter Pan. That’s what makes me want to design happy and positive clothes for people that like to make other people smile and feel happy with what they wear.”

“Murakami is simply a genius; not only is he the most humble and amazing human being, but his art makes me happy! I have always been drawn to him, because of his smiling and happy flowers. Kaikaii and Kiki are by far my favorite characters in the whole wide world, and the same applies to my four-year-old. Maybe it’s a family affair!”

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