See Takashi Murakami’s Favorite ‘Artforum’ Cover

Artforum, September 2003.

In a recent interview with the New York Times, Japanese superflat superstar Takashi Murakami opened up about many things, including consumer culture, the 2011 tsunami, Kanye West, and his current show at Gagosian.

But our favorite tidbit has to be the exposition of Murakami’s favorite Artforum cover. From September 2003, the image features an African man outside the Venice Biennale unloading several counterfeit handbags from the Murakami’s wildly popular collaboration with Louis Vuitton.

According to Murakami, “that photograph captured everything: the fake and the real, Japanese culture, consumer society, capitalism, copy and original — everything in one image.” While some artists might be incensed that it was their handbag collaboration and not their fine art that made it on the cover of the most prestigious art magazine in the world, Murakami went as far as to call it “the absolute highlight of my career.”

In the same interview, he also addressed comparisons between himself and other Pop-inspired mega-artists like Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst, stating that “World War II was always my theme — I was always thinking about how the culture reinvented itself after the war.” But, he says, Koons and Hirst are from countries that won the war, making their work inherently different from his own.

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