Artist Takashi Murakami is arguably the biggest Japanese contemporary artist in the world. In less than two decades he’s established a massive footprint in the global art scene. His latest show of new work at the Gagosian Gallery in New York is titled “In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow” and it marks a slight axis shift in the artist’s work.
Compared to much of the work he created in the late 1990s and early 2000s, “In the Land …” has less of the pristine, clinical and fantastical perfectionism of the sci-fi anime-inspired sculptures and kawaii characters of the artist’s “super flat”period. I
nstead Murakami’s new work is more complex and draws on more obvious, formal strands of Japanese classical arts and traditional symbolism. And it’s messy within bounds. It feels like barely contained seething chaos. It’s way more massive, more epic in scale. It’s stunning.
This framed image of pop superstar Lady Gaga pictured below is one of many such celebrity portraits by the accomplished photographer Martin Schoeller currently on view at the Hasted Kraeutler gallery in New York. (To the left of Gaga is portrait of artist Jeff Koons and on her right is one of actor-comedian Zach Galifinakis.)