MADSAKI - 24/7: Online Auction Hong Kong Tuesday, July 20, 2021 | Phillips

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  • Catalogue Essay

    “Watching cartoons and museum-hopping made me realise that I wanted to make famous art pieces. I wanted to become a famous artist, but I was just a starving artist. So, I thought, let’s pretend that I’m the famous dude. Let’s become Vincent van Gogh, let’s become Claude Monet. That’s how 'Wannabe' started.” —— MADSAKI

    MADSAKI’s ebullient spray painted works featuring smiley faces and dripping eyes have propelled this dynamic contemporary artist onto the international art scene, winning over collectors and critics alike. Born in Osaka in 1974 before relocating to New Jersey at a young age, the artist graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York in 1996. After returning to Japan to pursue a solo career in the arts, MADSAKI embraced graffiti and the medium of spray paint as a means to paint fast and spontaneously, and interrogate the value and meaning of art.

    “For the series, I purposefully chose to appropriate paintings that everyone, even people without art education, would be able to recognise—works that are often reproduced.” —— MADSAKIIn his most celebrated body of work, his Wannabe series, the artist uses his signature spray paint style to reinterpret the Old Masters and iconic works from art history. Purposefully selecting works that are immediately recognisable, MADSAKI pays homage to the artist being embodied, whilst firmly situating the work in the 21st Century. This work, Homage to Takashi Murakami Flowers, is a striking reformulation of Takashi Murakami’s famous, instantly recognisable iconography of beaming, rainbow-coloured flowers. Considering the art world superstar Murakami as his mentor, MADSAKI rose to prominence after being discovered by Murakami on Instagram, buying his work for his own collection which he has exhibited internationally, including at MURAKAMI vs. MURAKAMI at Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong (1 June - 1 September 2019). This work is thus a meaningful tribute to his close friend and great artistic influence, Takashi Murakami.


    An abundant number of probing eyes stare out at the viewer, the black spray paint dripping down the surface of the canvas in MADSAKI’s quintessential graffiti style. Like Murakami’s flower prints, the artist employs a kaleidoscopic colour palette of pastel pinks, baby blues, honey yellow and delightful shades of lilac and lavender to colour his thickly defined petals that encircle the flowers’ many faces.



    The artist with other examples of his Homage to Takashi Murakami works,  exhibited in Tokyo, Hidari Zingaro, HICKORY DICKORY DOCK, 27 August - 13 September 2016


    In 2016, other examples of Homage to Takashi Murakami were featured at MADSAKI’s first Kaikai Kiki solo show at Hidari Zingaro in Tokyo, HICKORY DICKORY DOCK (27 August - 1 September), alongside portrait works and his famous text paintings. Quickly selling out, HICKORY DICKORY DOCK marked a significant point in MADSAKI’s career, with Murakami introducing the artist to the international art world for the first time. The Homage to Takashi Murakami works, through which the artist parodies himself and Murakami, stand out in the show, bursting with imagery and beguiling the viewer with their almost psychedelic quality. 


    MADSAKI has been honoured with numerous solo exhibitions around the world, including If I Had a Dream at Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong (2019); MADSUCKY WUZ HERE 2018 at KaiKai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo (2018); FRENCH FRIES WITH MAYO at Galerie Perrotin, Paris (2018); COMBINATION PLATTER at Central Embassy, Bangkok (2018); BADA BING, BADA BOOM at Galerie Perrotin, Seoul (2017); HICKORY DICKORY DOCK at Hidari Zingaro, Tokyo (2016); WANNABE’S at CLEAR EDITION & GALLERY, Tokyo (2015); and Please Don’t Spit On The Painting at HVW8 Art + Design Gallery, Los Angeles  (2015). Last year, the artist exhibited a new series of paintings based on Mattel’s Masters of the Universe franchise, titled 1984 at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, Tokyo, and this year, his solo show, Hello Darkness, My Old Friend (I’ve come to talk with you again) was held at Galerie Perrotin’s New York location (29 April - 5 June 2021).


     MADSAKI Thinks "Perfect Art" Is Boring and Talks Relationship With Murakami

    • Provenance

      Private Collection, Hong Kong
      Acquired from the above by the present owner


Homage to Takashi Murakami Flowers

signed and dated 'madsaki 2016' on the reverse
acrylic and aerosol on canvas
work 45 x 45 cm. (17 3/4 x 17 3/4 in.)
frame 56.2 x 56.2 cm. (22 1/8 x 22 1/8 in.)

Executed in 2016.

Full Cataloguing

HK$500,000 - 700,000 

Sold for HK$630,000

Contact Specialist

Hin Hin Wong
Associate Specialist, 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Hong Kong
+852 2318 2013
[email protected]

24/7: Online Auction

Online Auction 21 - 30 July 2021