Cherries

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  • Condition Report

    Request Condition Report
  • Provenance

    Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    Hong Kong Museum of Art, Louis Vuitton: A Passion for Creation, 22 May - 9 August 2009, p. 23 (another example exhibited and illustrated)

  • Literature

    Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, Louis Vuitton: Art, Fashion and Architecture, New York, 2009, p. 302 (another example illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Takashi Murakami is one of the most successful and influential contemporary artists to emerge from Japan in recent decades. Known for blurring the lines between high art and popular visual culture, and for challenging the divide between artistic practice and commercial enterprise, Murakami’s colourful sculptures and paintings belie the sharp, subversive intelligence of their creator.

    Graduating with a PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts in 1993, encounters with the simulationist art of Jeff Koons and later with a collective of installation and performance artists in New York led to Murakami rejecting his training in the traditional Japanese artistic conventions and techniques of nihonga in favour of acrylic paints and a fully-fledged exploration of Japanese otaku subcultures.

    Superflat” was Murakami’s 2001 manifesto arising from this period of reflection, a term referring to the two-dimensionality of Japanese graphic art and animation, as well as describing an ironic response to the perceived shallowness of the media, entertainment and consumer culture. Murakami’s work subsequently adopted a blend of contemporary Japanese pop culture themes and motifs (most notably manga comics and anime) together with influences from traditional Japanese painting and printmaking, in particular the flat and brightly-coloured simplicity of ukiyo-e woodblock prints (see for example Utagawa Hiroshige’s Flowers of the Four Seasons).

    With its irresistible charm and a sly provocativeness, Cherries shows Murakami to be an artist skilled at navigating the realm of the surreal. The traditionally sexual connotations of cherry fruit are undermined by the disarming, candy-coloured smiles of Murakami’s Cherries, offering a joyfully surreal encounter for viewers. In the midst of his deep dive into otaku culture during the mid-1990s, Murakami realised the greater relatable appeal and potential of kawaii, and thus re-oriented his art from confrontation to cuteness. He created a strange, imaginary world of iconic characters including Mr. DOB, Kaikai, Kiki and enchanted mushrooms, eyes, and flowers. He explained in an interview with the New York Times: “I found a system for what is a cute character,” and on a whiteboard at Kaikai Kiki he drew a circle with the top half blank and the bottom half containing two dots for eyes and a smiling mouth. “In the kawaii system, this scale is very important” (the artist quoted in Arthur Lubow, ‘The Murakami Method’, The New York Times, 3 April 2005, online).

    Cherries also pays tribute to the influence of Pop Art on the Superflat movement, referencing American sculptor Claes Oldenburg’s celebrated Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture (1988) for the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Oldenburg created monumental works based on everyday consumer objects which elevated the banal to the extraordinary, and Cherries in its bold, voluptuous form provides a humorous, even Americanised, counterpoint to the mystique and rituals of Japanese cherry blossom culture. But whilst Pop Art took a somewhat quizzical, even critical look at capitalism and the burgeoning culture of consumerism, Murakami transcended those boundaries altogether.

    Cherries was created in 2005, the same year that Murakami’s flourishing collaboration with Louis Vuitton saw Murakami’s kawaii smiling red cherries featured alongside the historic LV monogram on the label’s cult luxury handbags and accessories. Murakami’s instantly-recognisable smiling cherry icon is now immortalised in art and fashion history, his collaboration with the French fashion house propelling Murakami to celebrity status in Japan and around the world, and cementing his reputation as an artist unafraid of blurring the boundaries between ‘high’ art and commercial enterprise.

    Murakami continues to work deliberately to reject the air of exclusivity surrounding art, synthesising elements of high and low culture across all areas of his work. Showing a fiercely entrepreneurial streak in his work, he is a game-changer in terms of his desire to cut across conventional boundaries for an artist in the art world (most notably through the establishment of his art production and artist management company KaiKai KiKi), as well as through his collaborations across altogether different industries (for example with cult fashion designer and music producer Virgil Abloh), effortlessly switching between contemporary cultural and subcultural trends. Since his first solo exhibition outside Japan in 1995 at Galerie Perrotin, Murakami’s status as one of the most important artists of our time has been confirmed by numerous exhibitions at prominent museums and art institutions around the world, including the Palais de Tokyo in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

  • Catalogue Essay

    村上隆是近幾十年來日本出現的、最成功及最具影響力之當代藝術家之一。其作品以模糊高雅藝術與流行視覺文化之間的界限,及挑戰藝術實踐與商業之間的鴻溝而聞名,村上隆彩色鮮麗的雕塑和繪畫,蘊含著創作者敏銳和具有顛覆性的智慧。

    1993年畢業於東京國立美術大學並獲得博士學位後,由於受到傑夫·昆斯的模擬主義藝術、以及後來在紐約的一個裝置與表演藝術家團體之影響,村上隆摒棄了他所接受的日本傳統藝術「日本畫」手法及技巧方面的訓練,並轉向丙烯顏料的使用,以及對日本禦宅族次文化的全面探索。

    「超扁平」是村上隆在2001年這一反思時期產出的宣言,這一術語意指日本圖像藝術和動畫中的二維性,以及描述對人們所認知的媒體、娛樂和消費文化的膚淺所作出之反諷的回應。村上隆的作品隨後採用了對當代日本流行文化中的主題和圖案(尤其是日本漫畫與動漫)的融合,以及日本傳統繪畫和版畫,特別是浮世繪版畫中的扁平和明亮鮮豔的簡約之影響(參見歌川廣重的《四季之花》為例)。

    憑藉其不可抗拒的魅力和狡黠的挑釁意圖,《櫻桃》展現了村上隆作為一名藝術家擅長遊走於超現實領域的能力。櫻桃傳統意義上的性暗示在村上隆讓人毫無戒心、糖果色的笑臉櫻桃身上不復存在,為觀者帶來了一場愉悅的超現實邂逅。當他在1990年代中期深入研究於禦宅族文化之際,村上隆意識到卡哇伊對人們的巨大吸引力和潛力,於是將他的藝術從衝突重新調整為可愛。他創造了一個奇異、想像的世界,裡面有著包括Mr. DOB、Kaikai、Kiki,以及魔法蘑菇、眼睛和花朵等標誌性人物。他在接受《紐約時報》採訪時解釋說:「我發現了一套打造可愛角色的方法,」並且在Kaikai Kiki工作室的白板上畫了一個圓圈,上半部分是空白的,而下半部分則是兩個點做眼睛和一張微笑的嘴。「在卡哇伊系統中,這個比例非常重要」(藝術家引自Arthur Lubow,《村上隆方法論》,《紐約時報》,2005年4月3日,截自網路)。

    《櫻桃》同時也通過參照美國雕塑家克萊斯·歐登柏格為明尼亞波利斯之沃克藝術中心所創作的著名雕塑作品《勺與櫻桃》,來向波普藝術對超扁平運動的影響表示致敬。歐登柏格以日常生活中的消費品為原型,將平庸瑣碎提升到超凡脫俗,創作了具有紀念意義的作品,而《櫻桃》以其大膽、豐滿的形式為日本櫻花文化的神秘性和儀式性提供了幽默的、甚至是美國式的對立。然而波普藝術對資本主義以及蓬勃發展的消費文化持有質疑、甚至批判性的態度,村上隆則超越了所有這些界限。

    《櫻桃》創作於2005年,同年村上隆與路易威登進行火熱的合作,他的卡哇伊笑臉紅櫻桃與具有歷史感的LV字母組合花紋一起被印在品牌的經典手袋和配飾上。村上隆那辨識度極高的櫻桃笑臉圖案如今已被用藝術和時尚歷史永久記載,他與這家法國時尚品牌的合作也將村上隆在日本與世界各地都推向了明星般的地位,並且鞏固了他作為一名毫不忌諱地打破「高雅」藝術與商業之間界限的藝術家之聲譽。

    村上隆在創作中持續地刻意摒棄藝術的排他性,將高雅與通俗文化中的元素在他的作品的各個領域進行結合。他的作品中表現出強烈的企業家精神,他渴望打破藝術圈傳統意義上給藝術家所設定的界限,使他改變了藝術界的遊戲規則(尤其是通過他所創立的藝術品生產和藝術家管理公司Kaikai Kiki),以及通過與不同行業的跨界合作(例如他與傳奇時裝設計師兼音樂製作人Virgil Abloh的合作),使他毫不費力地在當代文化與次文化潮流之間進行切換。自1995年他在貝浩登畫廊舉辦的首次在日本以外的個展起,他在巴黎的東京宮和洛杉磯當代藝術館等全世界各大重要美術館和藝術機構舉辦的無數展覽,都證明了村上隆作為這個時代最重要的藝術家之一的地位。

  • Artist Bio

    Takashi Murakami

    Japanese • 1962

    Takashi Murakami is best known for his contemporary combination of fine art and pop culture. He uses recognizable iconography like Mickey Mouse and cartoonish flowers and infuses it with Japanese culture. The result is a boldly colorful body of work that takes the shape of paintings, sculptures and animations.

    In the 1990s, Murakami founded the Superflat movement in an attempt to expose the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." The artist plays on the familiar aesthetic of mangas, Japanese-language comics, to render works that appear democratic and accessible, all the while denouncing the universality and unspecificity of consumer goods. True to form, Murakami has done collaborations with numerous brands and celebrities including Kanye West, Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and Google.

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Cherries

2005
FRP, steel, acrylic and urethane paint
218.4 x 165.1 x 78.7 cm. (85 7/8 x 65 x 30 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2005, this work is number 2 from an edition of 5 plus 2 artist's proofs.

Estimate
HK$3,000,000 - 5,000,000 
€343,000-571,000
$385,000-641,000

Place Advance Bid
Contact Specialist
Charlotte Raybaud
Head of Evening Sale, 20th Century & Contemporary Art

20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening Sale

Hong Kong Auction 24 November 2019