July 02, 2008

(C) Murakami

The Takashi Murakami retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum had tight security, so I was not able to take as many pictures as I wanted. I did manage to capture a few important pieces.

In the lobby, there is Murakami's alter ego, Mr. DOB, in an inflatable piece that greets visitors.

The rotunda had an installation of robotic female warrior sculptures, Second Mission Project Ko2, inspired by sexual fantasies of geek Japanese boys. The female figures transform into aeroplanes and take flight.

The figures have part numbers on them, just like aeroplanes and they look very cool.

Below is Mr. DOB, painted against a silver background color, to emphasize the "flatness" of the subject.

Flower Ball, is in contrast to Murakami's signature "flat" style, where smiling-face flowers are painted to create a 3D effect.

Barely visible in the back, beyond the visitors, is My Lonesome Cowboy, a life size sculpture of a boy ejaculating. I was trying to block myself from the museum guard to be able to photograph this piece.

This is Murakami's way of taking anime and porn cultures and mixing them to introduce a doze of shock to the audience. Across from it (not pictured) is a life size sculpture of a girl squirting milk from her very large breasts.

Below painting is of Time Bokan, its title derived from a famous Japanese animation. It is a mushroom cloud that is formed after the atomic bombs were dropped in Japan. The atomic bomb is ingrained in the psyche of the Japanese culture and appears often in art and animation. Here Murakami has added a face and eyes to the figure to lighten the guilt and the burden of the atomic bomb.

Smiling faces continue along the staircase.

Another painting of Time Bokan is on a wallpaper of Jellyfish Eyes, an oxymoron, because jelly fish don't have eyes.

A beautiful painting of Mr. DOB, this time rendered in a traditional style.

Below is Miss Ko, the waitress, a 3D life size sculpture. It is a typical anime character that feeds the sexual fantasies of Japanese boys.

Reversed Double Helix (Mr. Pointy) is in the lobby of the museum. It is a Buddha-like figure sitting on top of a frog, which itself is sitting on a lotus flower. It is protected by 4 pointy-head guards. The large scale and the colorful composition of the sculpture make quite an impression. This is a contemporary interpretation of traditional Japanese art.

And finally, KaiKai and Kiki, standing guard. This is an image I took at Miami Basel, but they were included in the Murakami exhibit in Brooklyn. They are 2 characters that Murakami created, and named after a superlative in Japanese, that means something like "incredible". KaiKaiKiki is also the name of the "factory" where Murakami and his assistants bring his conceptual art to life.

Kiki on the right is the curious, playful, and naive character, the trouble maker. KaiKai is the voice of reason.

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