His blend of color palettes and thick anime manga lines in repeating thematic patterns are his m.o.

A master of Pop and otaku culture, he leads the movement in productivity and dollars (yen).

I venture into the gallery that is housed in a non-discript standard cement tilt up on La Cienega Blvd. in LA

The walls are stark as you enter. This is the gallery Blum and Poe.

The huge welcome table and entrance to the gallery itself are guarded by two lovely ladies.

Simply stated in quiet letters… “Takashi Murakami”

Entering the gallery your eyes are immediately drawn to a golden tornado of flared flames wrapping towards the ceiling.

The flames reach, then encompass the thematic rounded, long, sharp toothed skull intertwined and repeated in thE group of pieces presented.

The golden sheen is brilliant and polished, the flames are definitely designed to appear as though they are derived from old block prints, tattoos, or religious scrolls from Japan.
They reflect and shimmer in the natural light coming through the roof which illuminates the fiery mass of a sculpture.

IMG_2867 The skull as you see it from far looks like a singular entity.

As you take a closer look into the eye sockets you notice more of the same skulls amassed in the eyes and again in the next set of skull sockets, becoming smaller and smaller with each incarnation.

The next thing you realize about the show is that you are surrounded by huge colorful canvases with characters in different types of dress and postures that are recognizable as monks of shinto and buddhism.

Some appear as the Yokai of shinto and other myth based ogres, monsters, and objects.

They all seem to be gathering around the the golden fire shrine as it burns in the forward center of the room. You as the viewer seem to become apart of the gathering as well. Finding yourself at the center of the circle facing this ominous flaming entity towering above you, reflecting all that is around you in its scripted motion.

The small details are again in every gap and nook within each space of his paintings and patterns.

Highly important are his choices in themes and iconic values.

This series seemed to be filled with ideas of mythology and religion based on his homeland, religious views and imagery of Japan. As well as a journey into the self and why you are you or that you are.

It seems to be a much more personal approach to creating from the self as opposed to creating for the masses on trend or kawaii eros anime bits.It seems there is a code that he is setting out for himself to see.

He is guided by those whom have led the spirit of the japanese personality for centuries now.

Buddhism and shinto ideals and mythologies, plus those who lead these ideas as monks and shamen

Following into the next gallery we find a familiar theme in his works have been blended into a harmonious form.

We see the multi colored flowers, so familiar is their smiling faces gathered and piled in to a garden of happiness in anarchy.


Perfect palettes of color and moods

Then a large grouping of the skulls again in a chrome finish and this time instead of eye sockets we have a set of X’s in their place.
again the skulls are followed into smaller and smaller contexts until the skulls are the size of small beans.

The skulls are reflecting the natural light in the gallery and the world around them. capturing every person or entity that is in the room.

A very impressive collection of interesting ideas transformed by Murakami into colorful media.

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