Brand partnerships are the advertising agencies dream – stitching together the cold hard world of commerce with an arty, trendy brand is the Holy Grail if done
correctly. The partnership between Takashi Murakami and Louis Vuitton is
something dreams are made of. The range of handbags and accessories sell faster
than ice cream by the seaside.
The partnership extends further too, step inside one of Louis Vuitton’s flagship stores like London’s Bond Street and whopping great sculptures and paintings adorn the walls and plinths. Check out these examples or better still go visit in person.
One of the finest private collections of Renaissance and Baroque bronzes has gone on show at London’s Wallace Collection
. Peter Marino is the architect behind all the leading flagship stores for fashion houses Louis Vuitton to Chanel and beyond.
Hercules resting, Italy c.1550-1600
Samson and the Philistine, Italy Florence, c.1550-1600
From collaborations with Louis Vuitton to mass market figurines available to all, Murakami has been dealing in the three-dimensional for sometime. His Lonesome Cowboy sculpture (directly below) broke auction records by going under the hammer at Sotheby’s for $15 million. Murakami’s sculpture is as ‘in your face’ and lurid as his work in any other media, these cartoonish characters loom at you in gigantic proportions. They are unforgettable and most importantly they sell!
Takashi Murakami Louis Vuitton design
Think you don’t know Takashi Murakami, think again.
His collaboration with fashion house Louis Vuitton for a range of handbags and wallets became some of the most counterfeited fashion products in the world – the best gauge of the public’s hunger for a product. If you’re a fan of Kanye West have another look at his album covers.
With Murakami’s marriage of high and low art, commercialism and a Warhol ethos of factory production, he is often the target of critics that point to a cynical manipulation of low culture in his work.
Takashi Murakami standing with his work Hiropon
The prices his work features speak for themselves though – in May 2008 “My Lonesome Cowboy” (1998), a sculpture of a masturbating boy, sold for $15.2 million at a Sotheby’s auction. His work is coveted across the globe and his grand exhibition at the MOCA gallery in LA last year reportedly sold $4 million worth of limited edition prints from the galleries boutique shop – situated in the main gallery itself – perhaps Murakami’s tongue in cheek reference to the dialogue on the commercial aspect of his work?
Time magazine has rated him in their power 100 for the last 2 years – he is the only visual artist to feature on the list.
Check out the video from the Japanorama series on Murakami:
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Tagged art, auction, fashion, handbag, japanorama, louis vuitton, MOCA, murakami, prints, sotheby, sothebys, superflat, takashi murakami, time