Takashi Murakami was born in 1962, in Tokyo, Japan. Education: Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, B.F.A., 1986; M.F.A., 1988; Ph.D., 1993.
Received training in the classic Japanese art form nihonga, 1980s; taught drawing, 1990s; embarked on solo career; exhibited in hundreds of galleries across the world, including the Serpentine Gallery in London, the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art; worked as a guest professor in the New Genre curriculum of the UCLA art department, 1998; designed line of Louis Vuitton handbags, 2003.
Japanese–born artist Takashi Murakami has become an international phenomenon by blurring the line between fine art and pop art. His edgy–yet–stunning, creepy–yet–cute cartoon–type characters appeal to a large audience and he deliberately makes his artwork accessible to all. Murakami’s paintings sell in galleries for more than $250,000 and a sculpture of his fetched $1.5 million. He has also designed bags for Louis Vuitton, which sold for $4,500. Murakami’s work, however, is also available on affordable coffee mugs, key chains, and stuffed animals. Because he believes artwork is more about creating goods to sell than about exhibitions, Murakami struggles to be taken seriously in some circles, although art curator Douglas Fogle called him “the most influential artist to come out of Japan in the last 15 years,” according to Peter Marks of the New York Times.