When Takashi Murakami stumbled across the works of Michel Majerus on Instagram a few years ago, he was struck by the artist's treatment of street and computer style.
Murakami would soon discover that although Majerus' work foretold the onslaught of memes, fake news, and franchised comic characters, he had actually died long before these concepts had saturated popular culture.
Majerus was killed aboard Luxair Flight 9642 while traveling from Berlin to Luxembourg in 2002. Yet the late artist's embrace of the post-analog is eerily relevant and influential today. Born only a few years apart, on different sides of the globe, Murakami and Majerus both started exhibiting widely in the mid-1990s and were among the first generation of artists who embraced the visual flux of the internet, when it's impact was only just beginning to be felt.
Murakami felt that Majerus was “much more mysterious” than his American counterparts, pushing forward from the “New Painting Movement” of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Like Murakami, Majerus absorbed everything around, from '90s sneakers to computer fonts, and album art.
Murakami was particularly drawn to Majerus' exploration of late ‘80s culture, gaming culture, and Japanese pop. So much so, that he devoted three years to his “Majerus series.”
The series is on show as part of Takashi Murakami: Michel Majerus Superflat at The Michel Majerus Estate in Berlin. Curator Tobias Berger explains that "analyzing Takashi Murakami’s “Majerus series” reveals not only the foresight of Michel Majerus as an artist but also how art, especially art of the Pop and post-Pop periods, is so relevant today."
Takashi Murakami: Michel Majerus Superflat opens in Berlin today, September 12. Register your group’s visit here.