GYATEI² BY TAKASHI MURAKAMI
14 April 2019
A thought provoking exhibition by Murakami, Takashi.
“GYATEI²” (Gyatei Gyatei) is a phrase that is repeated
at the climax of “The Heart Sutra,” a devotional chant
that spawns from Mahāyāna Buddhism. Alternatively
some say the words signify the cry of an infant which
symbolizes a rebirth occurrence at the end of the
chant. Murakami expresses the grimness of collapse
through age a comparison the artist states that falls
laterally to his most recent theme of art, “the new
formation of new types of ego and the loss of sub-
stance in communication caused by social media.”
Murakami projects his latest exhibition in Los Angeles at Beverly Hills’
Gagosian. Comprised of a series of colossal murals and massive
sculptures that bear his signature manga-like characters.
The GYATEI² exhibition exudes life's emotional balance.
A theme that often plays a strong role in all of Murakami's work.
Murakami addresses his resonance to commercial popularity,
the revisioning of the Louis Vuitton “monogram” print (2002)
in this exhibition. Having lost half of his staff and displeasing
the Foundation’s director, the artist, in disarray, had rethought
what his hopes were for his solo show in Paris dubbed
“Kawaii! Vacances d’été!” in Paris. Fast forward, at the time
Creative Director of Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, reached out
to collaborate back in Paris. Reluctant of the gesture, Murakami
was deliberately convinced by his female staff at the time that
he should consider the opportunity. The artist then returned
back to Paris to meet with Jacobs to discuss how to revamp
the iconic monogram print. From the point, the rest is history.
Just like the majority of us, the 57 year old artist,
discusses the significance of social media platform,
Instagram. Finding himself even color correcting his
images for several hours prior to posting amongst a few
other things on the platform. Diving into these significances,
the artist explains one of his pieces in the show where he
cosplays as a character in Kanye West / Lil Pump’s music video
“I Love It.” Delving into the Grammy-Award winning rapper
/producer and Fashion Designer’s attire at G.O.O.D. Music
correspondent, 2Chainz’s wedding ceremony with Kesha.
An attire we all know that caused major social media
commotion resulting in a plethora of memes that had fashion
connoisseurs scratching their heads. To spark a refresh, Kanye
decided to wear his YEEZY slides two (maybe even three)
smaller to expose his socks, which he dubbed as wearing
them the “Japanese” way. To counter this backlash the West
collaborated with Lil Pump to snap back at the trolly remarks
which led to the music video depicting 'Ye and Pump in
"Minecraft" like character costumers.
Through the honesty of his work the artist maintains a strong
sense of empathy and humbleness. Often using cute characters
along with vibrant color combinations to offset the darkness
within a message symbolizing the human thought patterns
we undergo daily. This juxtaposition projects humanity whole-
heartedly and depicts "the balance," good/evil, peace/catastrophe,
love/hate, happiness/sadness, etc.
The artist's continued evolution and child-like curiosity to tap into
different mediums of art shows the admiration Murakami has
for "the now" yet is still clearly influenced by the feelings and
teachings of his younger years. A master swordsman cannot win
without tact or the ability to adapt. Takashi Murakami does exactly that.
GAGOSIAN BEVERLY HILLS
AN EXHIBITION BY:
©2019 BLENDS UNDERSTANDING OF NOTHING