727-727 | Takashi Murakami | 2006
Murakami studies Japanese art history in the Tokyo University of Fine Arts and Music, but gets disappointed, as he considers that classic painting doesn’t represent the current society in which he lives. That’s why he gets interested in the otaku culture, more specifically, in anime and manga, types of comics essentially Japanese. However, instead or derogating them as vulgar cultural expressions, Murakami does the opposite: to extol them.
That’s why his work, like the majority of contemporary artists, is focused in blurring the limits between what is considered high art and low art.
Regarding his characteristics, the successful Murakami names his movement as “superflat”, because his compositions are strictly bidimensional and, of course, flat. He uses only pure, bright and fluorescent colors. Moreso, he uses characters that already are present in comics or he directly creates new.
727-727 is a curious work of the artist. On one hand, the character is completely Murakami and it is a character named by the artist as Mr. DOB, and it appears in other works. But, on the other hand, the characteristics of the superflat movement that we have described are not so clear here: the colors of the background of the triptych are mixed and seem rusty.
Yesterday I was thinking that Murakami is doing now what Warhol did in the 60s: he transforms a mass, popular product into art. Because none of them created anything. Neither Warhol created the Campbell’s soups nor Murakami invented manga. But both succeeded in giving these products a place in art which, in other times, would have been considered “vulgar”.