I recently read a Continuum 33 1/3 book on Big Star's Radio City album and it briefly mentioned that Alex Chilton asked Memphism-based photographer William Eggleston to provide a photo for the album cover. It seems that he has become somewhat in demand for album covers since then.
My friend Donald Eubank interviewed him for the Paris-Kyoto show that I went to today at the Hara Museum. I largely enjoyed the photos, however, I thought some of them were slightly pedestrian, but most had interesting colors, shadows, framing, or some other feature that made it interesting to look at. The drawings were a bit abstract for my tastes-but overall a worthwhile excursion.
I realized after seeing this album cover made by British artist Julian Opie that I had seen his work before. This is the cover of Blur's Greatest Hits. I really like his pop art inspired portraits as well as his landscapes. It seems that his work is also informed by Japanese wood block prints by the likes of Hiroshige and Umetaro.
Who knew that the first Louis Vuitton boutique in Brooklyn would touch down smack in the middle of an exhibition in one of the borough’s most venerable art institutions?
But there it is, at the Brooklyn Museum, bright and gleaming and blending seamlessly with its setting: a sleek, stylish and sometimes silly survey of the work of Takashi Murakami. Mr. Murakami, who is frequently called the Japanese Andy Warhol, is an astute manipulator of visual languages, artistic mediums and business models. The boutique will sell Vuitton bags, wallets and other accessories dotted with the signature Murakami jellyfish eyes, red cherries or pink cherry blossoms for the duration of the exhibition.
WHY are the Japanese couples in Kohei Yoshiyuki’s photographs having sex outdoors? Was 1970s Tokyo so crowded, its apartments so small, that they were forced to seek privacy in public parks at night? And what about those peeping toms? Are the couples as oblivious as they seem to the gawkers trespassing on their nocturnal intimacy?
Click here to find out about it in a NY Times article.
Slate has an interesting slide show of Edward Hopper paintings inspired by a retrospective at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I think Hopper's painting are pretty haunting and egnimatic. I think he captures the essence of urban city life in paintings like in the one above, Nighthawks.
Here's part of a review of Takashi Murakami's latest show from the NY Times:
Popularly known as the Warhol of Japan, Mr. Murakami, 45, merges
fine art with popular Japanese anime films and manga cartoons. He has
invented characters including DOB and Mr. Pointy, which he has used as
the subjects of paintings, sculptures and giant balloons, and is also
known for his smiley-faced flowers and colorful mushrooms. His work has
adorned New York City landmarks like Grand Central Terminal and
These days Mr. Murakami’s tentacles reach far and wide. In Japan he
is busy producing feature-length animated films, and he is already
considered a media king there, with a television and a radio show on
which he interviews everyone from world-famous economists to novelists.
A marketing impresario, he teamed up with the fashion house Louis
Vuitton in 2003 to create brightly colored versions of the classic LV
monogram on Vuitton handbags. They flew off the shelves, generating
millions of dollars.
Now Mr. Murakami is looking back in history. His inaugural
exhibition at Gagosian, “Tranquillity of the Heart, Torment of the
Flesh: Open Wide the Eye of the Heart and Nothing Is Invisible,” is the
first public showing of his new series of monumental paintings of
Daruma, the sage, grand patriarch of Zen art and founder of Zen
Buddhism. In certain Japanese Zen monasteries, Mr. Murakami said, the
tea ceremony is still carried out in its original form to honor Daruma.
At Gagosian the ceremony began with a serving of neon-green
spongecakes, in the center of which were two tiny egg yolks: something
sweet for the palate, said Mr. Sen, 31, a descendant of the
16th-century tea master Sen no Rikyu. Then there was the elaborate
preparation of the green tea, using a 400-year-old bamboo spoon to
scoop the tea leaves out of an ancient wooden container. An antique
iron kettle held the boiling water, while a modern bowl filled with
boiling water was used to rinse out each of the 17th-century ceramic
serving bowls that Mr. Murakami had brought from his home in Tokyo for
“I wanted to bring something spiritually and culturally Japanese to
a wider audience,” Mr. Murakami said as a Japanese television crew
filmed his every move. “This is only the second time in my whole life
I’ve dressed up like this,” he added. “The first time was when I was at
the tea master’s house.”
Among the works in his exhibition are several three-panel paintings,
nearly 8 feet wide and 9 feet tall, of a fierce-looking Daruma, each
signed in the traditional Japanese manner, in Japanese characters down
one side, and each with a different background, ranging from platinum
and gold leaf to black glitter.
“The theme of Mr. Murakami’s exhibition is to take something very
classical and render it very contemporary,” Ms. Hoaglund explained.
The paintings are not the only new direction Mr. Murakami has
recently taken in his career; he has also changed dealers. In June he
left Marianne Boesky’s Chelsea gallery after about a decade for
Gagosian, the international powerhouse, because, “I am always looking
for new ways of making art, and everyone knows Larry,” he said at the
time, referring to Larry Gagosian. “When he asked me, it was good
The new work was a total surprise for Mr. Gagosian. “When I went to
his studio, there was not a hint that these were the kind of paintings
Takashi would produce,” he said. “His capacity to change the mood,
direction and scale of his work is very exciting, and people went with
it.” Even before the show opened on Tuesday, all the work had been
sold, Mr. Gagosian said. Prices ranged from about $100,000 for the
smaller paintings to $1.6 million for the large ones.
While the ever tight-lipped Mr. Gagosian would not say who the buyers were, experts in the field said seasoned collectors like François Pinault, the luxury-good magnate who owns Christie’s, and Steven A. Cohen, the hedge-fund manager, were among them.
The Daruma paintings are only part of the show, which runs through
June 9. The floor below is filled with round canvases of smiling
flowers, more in keeping with Mr. Murakami’s old self. On one wall hang
50 of them, each 15 ½ inches in diameter, with a group of larger
variations filling the rest of the space.
“There’s always a shadow of Warhol,” Mr. Murakami said. And in the
grand tradition of Warhol’s Factory, Mr. Murakami runs the Kaikai Kiki
Company (named for two characters in his imaginary universe), which
includes his own factorylike studios in Tokyo and Long Island City,
Queens, where artists carry out his creations. In addition to Mr.
Murakami’s signature, the names of all the contributing artists from
his studio are also on the back of each flower paintings they worked