Takashi Murakami's latest exhibition “GYATEI²” is currently on show at LA's Gagosian. The exhibition features all-new works by the Japanese artist and also offers an insight into how his famed Louis Vuitton collaboration came about.
In the What Did the LV Project Mean to Me? piece, the artist details the story behind his now-iconic Louis Vuitton multicolor monogram. After getting flown to Paris last minute for a meeting with the brand's then-creative director Marc Jacobs, Murakami worked all summer on the design, merging traditional Japanese family crests with his previous work.
When the collection was finally set to go on sale, Murakami held an exhibition of paintings using the same monogram. "I believe that after my death, a day will come when the Louis Vuitton Multicolor Monogram paintings will earn the highest recognition," Murakami writes in the piece, revealing that Virgil Abloh remembers the work as one of his very first art experiences.
Read the full story behind the collaboration below.
The “GYATEI²” show also includes Murakami cosplaying as Kanye West. The artist took to Instagram to explain the meaning behind the work, writing, “This is me, cosplaying as a character in Kanye West and Lil Pump's music video for "I Love It." When I saw this video, I felt that it incorporated every single aspect of how art is appreciated and consumed, which have constantly and significantly been changing over the past 100 years.”
As well as pondering the meaning of art altogether, the “I Love It” video got the artist thinking about the political and creative utility of Instagram and the impact of innovators such as Abloh. Drawing from traditional Japanese painting, sci-fi, anime, and pop culture, “GYATEI²” features paintings, sculptures, films, and a stream of commercial products populated by mutating characters in Murakami's signature style.
"GYATEI²" is on show until April 13, 2019 at the Gagosian in Beverly Hills.
If you want to see more from Takashi Murakami, watch the video below.