Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Superflat (with Takashi Murakami)

When I was at the Toledo Museum of Art a couple of weeks ago, I saw this scupture--"Mr. Wink (Oval Sitting atop a Cosmos Ball)." The piece, as I'm sure is evident, is plastic, and the Cosmos Ball includes a CD by the band Zak Yumiko.


Murakami is best known as the prime mover behind Japan's Superflat movment and as the artist who created the cover art for Kanye West's album Graduation (oddly enough, the only of Kanye's albums I don't own). I've come across Murakami's work a few times via internet, and while I may have seen an exibition of his in San Francisco--it was either Murakami or an artist related to Superflat--it was seeing this piece in person that got me thinking about his work.


"Mr. Wink" falls in with a number of Murakami's plastic figurine work. Some of these pieces follow "Mr. Wink" in terms of being child-like, intentionally comercial, and blindingly colorful:






But then, other work of Murakami's takes the most vapid elements of anime's style, and rather than ephasizing their commerciality, deforms them into the grotesque, the overly sexual:







I've been wondering if a similar aesthetics is possible in writing, and if it is possible, what it might look like. The closest that I can think of is the twisting blank narratives of Daniil Kharms and John Yau. Both are nearly as colorful as Superflat, both are nearly as sharp, but I can't think of a writer whose textual surface nears this plastic.

I'm uncertain if work like this could be done in writing. While commercials and movie dialogue may be as financially dependant as the style Murakami works from, I can't think of a type of writing that is displayed in housholds, that could hold the status of decoration.

Ideas, anyone?

2 comments:

Man on the moon said...

Isn't he insane.
I wonder if he is even human...

DeAndre said...

In taking on Murakami's aesthetic, you would be embracing the love for face value he purposely exhibits in his work in an effort to show just how superficial things are, or something around that. SHIET... let me read some of your work when you do it. I share some of Murakami's aesthetics myself. Your idea sounds awesome