Takashi Murakami - 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale Hong Kong Sunday, November 25, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Galerie Perrotin, Hong Kong
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    'Although the works may appear to have a generic graffiti air to them, their surfaces exude MADSAKI’s peculiar brand of sorrow, which I appreciate.'
    Takashi Murakami, quoted in foreword to the "HERE TODAY, GONE TOMORROW", MADSAKI’s solo exhibition at Kaikai Kiki Gallery, 19 May - 15 June 2017.

    Takashi Murakami is one of the most successful contemporary artists to emerge from Post-War Asia. Credited with leading the Superflat movement of the early 2000s, Murakami blurs the line between high and low art by bringing Japanese manga and anime into a fine art context. In this lot, he collaborates with Madsaki on a graffiti-esque rendition of his iconic flowers. In true contemporary fashion, the tale of these two artists begins on Instagram. Having followed each other on social-media for a while, it was Madsaki’s ‘Wannabie’ Matisse (a spray-painted, smiley-faced reworking of Dance II) that finally lead Murakami to reach out. Murakami wanted to purchase this piece, and before long he would acquire close to 50 more of Madsaki’s works.

    When they first met in person, Murakami found Madsaki “overly friendly and loud-mouthed”(Takashi Murakami, 'Madsaki: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.' in A Message from Takashi Murakami, 2017, online). Growing up a Japanese immigrant in suburban New Jersey, Madsaki developed a tough, boisterous personality, which is clear in his work. He appropriates and transgresses the conventions of classical painting in all the ways one would expect from a Banksy-generation artist. Having learnt the ropes of street art as part of the NYC collective Barnstormers, utilizing aspects of ‘lo-fi’ aesthetics in his practice is something Madsaki has in common with Murakami.

    Now colleagues at Kaikai Kiki, Murakami’s own modern day Warhol factory, Murakami claims that despite their cultural differences, once they began to work together he fell “in love with [the] part of [Madsaki] that is an artist”(Takashi Murakami, 'Madsaki: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.' in A Message from Takashi Murakami, 2017, online). On a bold red background, Murakami’s daisies are painted by Madsaki in stark white. Madsaki’s signature smiley faces appear on each one, patterning the canvas with drips of paint, conveying the frenetic energy of graffiti. This work is recognizably Neo-Pop, whilst still highlighting each artists’ individual style. This aesthetic cohesiveness is a testament to the chemistry between these collaborators.

  • Artist Biography

    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.

    View More Works


Flower collaboration with MADSAKI

signed and dated 'TAKASHI 2017' on the overlap
acrylic on canvas mounted on aluminium frame
141.3 x 120 cm. (55 5/8 x 47 1/4 in.)
Executed in 2017.

HK$2,000,000 - 3,000,000 

Sold for HK$2,000,000

Contact Specialist
Jonathan Crockett
Deputy Chairman, Asia and Head of 20th Century & Contemporary Art, Asia
+852 2318 2023

Isaure de Viel Castel
Head of Department
+852 2318 2011

Charlotte Raybaud
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+852 2318 2026

20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale

Hong Kong Auction 26 November 2018