Just when the innovation level of the vinyl toy market hit an all-time low alongside the economy, MARK RYDEN and TAKASHI MURAKAMI have unveiled killer new signature figures to inject some much-needed vitality into the genre. Coming soon from LONG GONE JOHN's secretive NECESSARIES TOY FOUNDATION is the first vinyl toy from master painter MARK RYDEN. Long ignoring the world of toys—and rightly so—Ryden has finally teamed up with his most avid art stalker to release this diminutive version of his multi-eyeballed pink totem pole that originally appeared in (and derives its title from) the painting "YHWH," that first appeared in his 2004 "Wondertoonel" show. With an expected release date of Summer 2009, young art goths in search of this Holy Grail best start camping out at your neighborhood toy stores now. Meanwhile, Takashi Murakami's "Inochi" figure, produced by Japanese toy giants MEDICOM and based on the artist's character who has appeared in a series of hilarious and surreal Japanese TV Commercials and as a life-sized sculpture in his traveling "© Murakami" art show, has just hit shelves as part of a new exhibition at the artist's own KAIKAI KIKI gallery in Tokyo. With doors open to the public on Saturday, The show made available five Inochi figures in as many different colored outfits in an edition of 200 pieces each that retailed for a whopping $1,500 USD. In the words of Murakami's camp: “Fashioned with an astounding attention to detail, the Inochi action figure is a small-scale replica of the original sculpture, created by world renowned toy manufacturer Medicom Toy. Like its larger counterpart, which was subject to over six years of work before reaching completion, the action figure has been in planning for nearly three years. The result features a level of perfection that exceeds that of a mere toy and accords it the status of a work of art. The figure also comes with costuming, in the form of Inochi’s school uniform and rucksack, both of which are removable. Each figure will be available with costumes in 5 colors, identical to those worn by the original, and also as a special set of 5.” Read More
As Japanese Pop Art master TAKASHI MURAKAMI's retrospective "© Murakami" show continues on its epic world tour, the grandiose GUGGENHEIM BILBAO museum plays host to its latest and most daunting stop to date. Settling into the swooping Frank Gehry-skinned art palace, the show—fresh off its recent stop in Frankfurt, Germany—replicates its general outlay previously established at the initial MoCA LA, and Brooklyn Museum stops, but this time the artist's epic painted and sculptural works are finally housed in a venue as aesthetically compelling as the whole of Murakami's oeuvre. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Much has been said here at Supertouch about Japanese Pop master TAKASHI MURAKAMI's traveling art circus otherwise known as his "© Murakami" show and its previous stops in LA & Brooklyn, so now that it's touched down in Frankfurt Germany at the MUSEUM FÜR MODERNE KUNST, we'll be happy to make do with a quick peek at the new installation and some of its recently-added pieces before it wraps up on January 4th. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Japan's otaku culture Warhol, aka: TAKASHI MURAKAMI, was quite the social butterfly at this year's ART BASEL, and was spotted mingling among the throngs of viewers at most of the fairs, including his own GEISAI vernissage. Scaling back dramatically (read: accordingly) at this year's convention, there were no massive shows of force in the way of towering silver sculptures or epic psychedelic canvases. Instead, the master kept things small, and soft, as evidenced by his plush flower ball installation (and cosplay romp) at his own KAI KAI KIKI installation. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Despite negative impact of a crippling economy and a potentially massive art sales slump, this year's ART BASEL is off to a good start as evidenced by Japanese Pop icon TAKASHI MURAKAMI's free-spirited cosplay romp at the GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN VIP preview party tonite. Appearing as one of his signature smiling flower balls, (complete with shiny green "stem" tights and flowered VisVims) the Superflat impresario took time to pose with the ladies and spread good cheer before disappearing alone into the night. Hopefully, we won't find any giant soggy flower-men washed up on the beach tomorrow morning...
Japan’s Warhol, aka: TAKASHI MURAKAMI, is now poised to become the country’s modern version of Walt Disney after news this week that he’s poised to set up a new animation studio in LA in summer 2009. Operating under the umbrella of KAI KAI KIKI, his artist management & personal production company, the studio will be located on North Highland Ave in close proximity to the nexus of Hollywood studio activity. Having proved his studio’s formidable animation chops with the Kai Kai Kiki-produced video for Kanye West’s “Good Morning,” and the “Superflat Monogram” short for Louis Vuitton, the company’s first pursuit will be the expansion of Murakami’s playfully fecal-friendly "Planting the Seeds” shorts starring his signature characters Kai Kai and Kiki that debuted at his “© Murakami” show in LA and Brooklyn last year into a feature-length film. Said Murakami about his new move into cartoons, "Animation and film have always been among my greatest influences, ever since I first saw 'Star Wars' and Hayao Miyazaki's films. This studio represents a great step in the evolution of Kai Kai Kiki and gives me a closer proximity to the community of artists with whom I hope to collaborate as I continue my explorations of animated and live-action film."
KANYE WEST “GOOD MORNING”:
“SUPERFLAT MONOGRAM” FOR LOUIS VUITTON:
“PLANTING THE SEEDS” TEASER:
Just when we thought our blurry vision was recovering from NIGO's years-long neon assault on our once beloved design motif it seems his fashion protégée TAKASHI MURAKAMI has gotten in on the act (and a few years late, at that) with his new cammo design for ultra luxury brand LOUIS VUITTON's line of leather bags and other blue chip accessories. Dubbed "Monogramouflage," the Japanese Pop Art god's newest pattern simultaneously references Andy Warhol's earlier interpretations of the disruptive pattern material and the ubiquity of BAPE's signature streetwear graphics while incorporating LV's timeless monogram pattern. First debuted as a series of framed artworks in his traveling art show "© Murakami," and a limited product range at his Brooklyn Museum installation from June 1st—15th, the full line including luggage, wallets, iPod cases, belts, scarves, handbags, boots, sneakers, and clothing will be made available to the public tomorrow, June 1st, at LV flagship stores and premium outlets worldwide. Never mind the current record oil prices and general global economic freefall, expect queues of dedicated fashionistas and well-heeled hipsters in all timezones come first light. We’ll be sleeping in. After all, Canal Street is forever. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
Japan's most omnipresent Pop Artist/star TAKASHI MURAKAMI brought his latest series of work to Los Angeles last week when his new curiously titled show "Davy Jones' Tear" opened at BLUM & POE GALLERY. Featuring eight large new paintings representing three distinctly different modes of artistic thought, Murakami's new work pushes further away from his more representational, manga/anime-influenced style and in large part embraces a more abstract, decorative mode. Represented again are more images from Murakami's Daruma series featuring portraits of the 6th century father of Zen Buddhism alongside new psychedelic abstract works that reflect a distinct graffiti influence, and two paintings that pay homage to the 18th century Rimpa school of Japanese decorative art. It's a must-see show for sure and even haters will find something of interest in the deceptively compelling new panels. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
LA-based painter and longtime Supertouch buddy (and Emmy-award winning artist) SEONNA HONG debuted her first solo show of new paintings with TAKASHI MURAKAMI's new KAIKAI KIKI GALLERY last week when "Viscery Loves Company" opened to a throng of avid supporters including Supertouch's own AMANDA FAIREY, better known as the superior half of Shepard Fairey. Out in Tokyo for just 24 hours of revelry, Amanda managed to cap the nite off with a early-morning round of Ms. Hong and "MC Murakami" before hopping back on the jet to get back to work in LA cracking the whip over Shepard's lazy ass at Studio One. HAVE A LOOK: Read More
The to-die-for ticket in LA last weekend was the gala opening for TAKASHI MURAKAMI's retrospective "© Murakami" at MoCA on Sunday nite, and Supertouch allies GARY BASEMAN and Giant Robot's ERIC NAKAMURA were on site for the madness. Guest of honor KANYE WEST's performance was the draw, and a crowd of celebs and art world blue bloods (no mere mortals here folks) shelled out top dollar (minimum $5K per head) to snuggle up with the undisputed master of Japanese Pop at his lush MARC JACOBS/LOUIS VUITTON-hosted reception. PEEP THE RECAP: Read More