Takashi Murakami (村上 隆 Murakami Takashi, born February 1, 1962) is a Japanese contemporary artist who works in fine arts media (such as painting and sculpture) as well as commercial media (such as fashion, merchandise, and animation). Murakami studied at the Tokyo University of the Arts, Japan where he received his B.F.A. in 1986, his M.F.A. in 1988, and his P.h.D. in 1993. He founded the Hiropon factory in Tokyo in 1996, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki, an art production and art management corporation.
One of the biggest names in the contemporary art world, Takashi Murakami's work is immediately recognizable for its popping, candy-like colors and anime-esque aesthetic. Often featuring playful imagery like smiling flowers, oversized, blinking eyes, and Technicolor mushrooms, Murakami is truly the heir to Warhol in his ability to appropriate commercial, popular images inspired by anime and manga (Japanese comics) into high-quality pieces of fine art. Because of his commercial appeal, his works have been translated onto various other media ranging from keychains and mugs to a collaboration with French couture powerhouse Louis Vuitton, which began in 2002. In 2010, a selection of Murakami's sculptures were featured against the opulent, iconic Western background of Château de Versailles. In addition, His work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions around the world, including those held at the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo, Gagosian Gallery in London, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt.
Murakami's work is currently on view in Chicago at the Museum of Contemporary Art for his solo exhibition, Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg, open Jun 6 – Sep 24, 2017.