Murakami and the World of Anime Fine Art
An artist named Takashi Murakami has been creating anime fine art in the form of paintings, statues, prints, toys and just about anything else he can put is images on and take to market. Murakami is the prominent name in the world of fine art that draws it’s inspiration from anime and manga.
Murakami was influenced by anime from the 1970s and 1980s and used the look and feel of anime in his work as opposed to what might be a much more traditional source of inspiration for Japanese artists, the classic woodblock print. Murakami attended the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and majored in Japanese art.
Soon thereafter the Poku concept was born, a phrase created by Murakami to describe the blending of pop culture references he perceived in America and Japan. Technology, video games, movies, television and commercials, are some of the sources of the influence for his concept of fine art.
Dob, a futuristic, android Mickey Mouse, is a Murakami invention that straddles the line of art and commercialization just like Mickey did from the early 1930′s to the present. Murakami learned from the master himself, Mr. Disney of course.
The Superflat movement, Murakami’s name for his two-dimensional style as well as a comment on otaku culture, media and Japanese culture in general, evolved out of the concept of anime fine art known as Poku. Dob, as well as his statues and even an animated short film, fall under the idea of anime fine art. Fashion, Louis Vuitton for example, as well as key chains and magnets, balloons and toys all comprise the world of Murakami’s pop art and merchandising world.
Murakami’s show at the MOCA Los Angeles, with its Warholian atmosphere solidified his place in the world of post-modern contemporary fine art. Fine art inspired by animation and comics is nothing new. Roy Liechtenstein, Andy Warhol and many others have been influenced by comics. Now Range Murata, Yoshitoshi ABe and Hayao Miyazaki as well as many other anime and manga artists define the concept of anime fine art. R.P.