(Japan, 1963)

Sphere Monogram (Black), 2003
acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 180 x 180 x 5 cm
© 2003 Takashi Murakami / Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd.
All Rights Reserved, Courtesy Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris–Miami, Private collection, Naples

The black painting of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is covered by concentric circles consisting of the multicoloured letters L and V, the symbol of Murakami’s successful story: the logo of the fashion label Louis Vuitton. The painting is one of a series of objects that build a self-referential universe, where art is being reflected in fashion and fashion in art. In the exhibition showcases display a selection of Louis Vuitton handbags designed by Takashi Murakami. Consumer culture and fine art may look different, but for the artist, at the very end, they are the same thing. In the tradition of Andy Warhol, he views art making as a commercial activity – consequently declares himself a marketing artist. The Superflat art movement that he created has the aim of transforming icons of subculture from the world of pop and pornography into objects of “high” art. What he did to break into the Western art market, was, in his own words, “analysing the Western art, refining his skills in creative management, making hypotheses and testing them”. The result of his business strategy is a globally operating enterprise called Kaikai Kiki (which means elegant and bizarre) producing and promoting a meticulously designed range of objects – from large sculptures to stuffed animals and other merchandise merging Japanese and American pop culture, such as the Manga and Mickey Mouse, supplying not only the exclusive contemporary art market with high-prize original products, but also middle- and lower-income mass-markets through series of industrially produced items and accessories, which he sells in copyrighted stores. He turned his name into a brand: “You cannot continue creating art without a sense of business or management”, says Murakami, thereby defining his vision of art in world which is totally economized.


Luchezar Boyadjiev (BUL)
Marco Brambilla (I/USA)
Marc Bijl (NL)
Fabio Cifariello Ciardi (I)
Claude Closky (F)
Denis Darzacq (F)
Eva Grubinger (A)
Pablo Helguera (MX)
Damien Hirst (UK)
Bethan Huws (GB)
Christian Jankowski (D)
Atelier van Lieshout (NL)
Michael Landy (UK)
Thomas Locher (D)
Aernout Mik (NL)
Antoni Muntadas (E)
Takashi Murakami (J)
Josh On (CAN)
Dan Perjovschi (RUM)
Cesare Pietroiusti (I)
Wilfredo Prieto (CUB)

Palazzo Strozzi