Takashi Murakami Speaks About His Latest Spectacular Gagosian Show

The artist chats about chaos, the market, and museums v. galleries.

In his show at Gagosian Gallery, “In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow,” artist Takashi Murakami has taken a turn for the darker. Exploring the role of belief systems amid the chaos of existence and during a time when natural disasters are on the rise, his new paintings and mammoth sculpture incorporate references to demons, religious sites, and self-portraiture. These look to Japanese art created in response to catastrophe, whether the Great Tōhoku Earthquake of 2011 or much further back to the fallout after the Great Asei Edo Earthquake of 1855. As a result, some of his more beloved characters, like Mr. DOB, are transformed from cute and friendly into more grizzled creatures “suffering in a chaotic situation.”

In the video above, we talk with Murakami to hear his thoughts on his new work, where he feels more comfortable working and exhibiting as an artist, and which of the “two kinds of artists” (gallery or museum) he is.

You may also want to check out our Instagram video of the silly questions we asked the artist, “Takashi Murakami’s Favorite Things,” and our review of the show, “Takashi Murakami Enters His Skull Period at Gagosian.”


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