perfectly imperfect stream-of-conscious writing … on Takashi Murakami, artistic evolution, careers, etc.
below the second // you’ll find an incomplete piece of writing that’s only edited in the moment of writing. i started writing this on June 10 while inside the MCA Chicago — walking through the Takashi Murakami exhibit that displays several pieces of his work from different times in his career starting in 1993 up until present day. i wrote again a few days after that. that’s it
Did you go to the Takahashi exhibition at the MCA in Chicago?
Studying the evolution of artists, and often any professional career, compels me. Being able to look at several sections of Takahashi’s “story” over the last few decades reflects the breadth and depth of his interests and emotions. The sum of these interests drive his authentic artistic style today.
Studying the careers of other “more established” people, or whatever, helps me become more patient but, it also creates a healthy feeling of hunger, interest, and need to explore.
The Takahashi exhibit tells the story of much of his career with work from 1987 to 2017 on display. It’s all capped off by a massive installation for the exhibition itself. Takahashi was a kindergarten art teacher before he ever became at artist. He studied painting and had next-to-NO bright colors in his early work from 1987. Yet, when you look at his painting from 1987, you CAN see small artistic qualities that resemble his more contemporary works. For instance one painting uses about 500 shades of brown to visualize a ~lizard with colorful eyes using only paints made from natural ingredients. Maybe this indicates a time when he lacked some confidence. Years later he he invents the elegant, emotional, anime-inspired and autobiographical DOB character. In many ways this represents an outlet for him to express his true feelings and early outlook on the relationship between art and commercial culture. Next, he takes the study of that relationship a step further (and to The West) when he makes the Kanye’s Graduation bear. Then, he returns to the history of eastern monks and their artwork and creates a 300ft pattern-driven anime-inspired screen print hybrid painting with the help of over 100 studio assistants.
Seeing a full history of his work was incredible. It’s like listening to Jay-Z’s discography incredible. Studying a career can be an important reminder look at everything for what it is in that moment… the present part of an untold story. I try not to let any work, super good or super bad, define me in any way. It’s simply the product of my interests and emotions from a moment or moments in time. I’ve been working for 4 years on design and this is “beginning” when it’s all said and done. Now more than ever I feel compelled to go wide in lots of areas and deep in a few along the way. Develop new interests and hone skills, styles and inspirations across mediums without letting any results define me. Don’t pay attention to what the outside world might perceive as “my style” or “my job”. My biggest problem with most people is when they act like they wont, or worse, can’t, change. Over the last 4 years I have embraced newness and change. To be interesting you have to be interested.