Artist to the stars

Collaborations with Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and Kanye West make Takashi Murakami one of the hottest artists on the planet.

EDGAR staff July 22, 2014

Many aspects of the Japanese culture are not the easiest to understand for people looking from the outside in. From anime to manga, most non-Japanese people wouldn't have a clue.

That's why the success of Takashi Murakami is so impressive. The contemporary artist, who became famous for his paintings and sculptures, brought his offbeat brand of art to the masses and opened up the world to what is now known as 'superflat'.

The term was coined by Murakami to explain his particular vision, which merges anime, manga and J-pop-inspired kawaii (cute) elements, to an American audience. And to say he's been a success would be an understatement. 10

His big break came in 2002 when he was invited to design for Louis Vuitton. His artwork was used on a series of handbags, elevating him to celebrity status.

Soon he was working with Kanye West on the cover of his Graduation album, as well as on the music video for Good Morning. And in 2009 he joined forces with Pharrell Williams to produce The Simple Things, a sculpture which was sold for $2 million at Art Basel.

His at times explicit depictions of sex mean he's not everyone's cup of tea, but for bringing us a healthy dose of Japanese culture, Takashi Murakami, we salute you. 3 2 4 8 5 7 6 9 Details: visit