TAKASHI MURAKAMI

Takashi Murakami (American/Japanese, b.1962) is a painter and sculptor famous for his integration of Fine Art, commercialism, Japanese aesthetics, and cultural criticism into his work. Originally based and working from a studio in Asaka City, Japan, Takashi Murakami quickly established a large scale studio of assistants, taking influence from the work habits of Andy Warhol. Indeed, the Warholian similarities do not end there, for his work draws heavily from the fields of consumer culture, for so long an area deeply imbued in Warhol’s art.

Takashi Murakami paints in the self titled style of “Superflat”, a method whereby everything within the image is portrayed in two dimensions only, and one that he used extensively during his commissioned work as a designer in 2003 for Louis Vuitton. The “Superflat” technique finds its origins in far less contemporary surroundings than couture fashion, since it draws upon traditional Japanese techniques pioneered by the panel and screen painters of the sixteenth century.

Born in 1962 in Japan, Murakami received his BFA, MFA, and PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied Nihonga  (traditional Japanese painting). He first gained recognition as a sculptor during the early 1990s, exploring otaku (the Japanese term for an obsession with anime and cartoons) and the contradictions between contemporary Japanese society and American culture in his work.

In 1996, he created the Hiropon Factory in Japan, which later developed into Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd., a large art making and artist management corporation. Murakami is also a curator and a critical observer of Japanese art. In 2000, he founded the “Superflat” movement, a post modern style drawing inspiration from Japanese manga (comics created in Japan), graphic design, and traditional Japanese prints and screen paintings.

Throughout his career, Murakami has increasingly blurred the boundaries between fine art and popular culture by branding his artwork and turning it into merchandise, particularly with the celebrated character Mr. Dob. His embrace of the commercial side of art reached a high point in 2003, when the artist began collaborating with Marc Jacobs in the redesign of the Louis Vuitton logo and handbags. Murakami currently lives and works in Tokyo and New York.

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1. VAN DONNA

  1. Van Donna = Van Gogh + Madonna. Both are the artist’s personal heroes and inspiration.
  2. An active philanthropist, the artist was selected to donate an original painting sold at the Terrence Higgins Trust annual charitable auction.
  3. She saw her debut at auctions in Christies’s London successfully selling an original paintings for several thousands of pounds.
  4. A selection of her artworks was added to the permanent collection of the Faberge Museum in St. Petersburg and the Freud Museum in London.  Van Donna’s works have been exhibited in sold-out shows in NYC, Dubai and Riyadh in the show “Riyadh Underground” created by members of the Saudi Royal Family.
  5. Van Donna counts in celebrity fans like Ringo Starr who picked “All You Need Is Love” as his favourite of her artworks. Top Warhol, Banksy Rothko collectors, global top 500 CEO’s, Royal Families and Heads Of State as well as many celebrities are adding Van Donna artworks to their collections.
  6. British artist Van Donna recently made the news after the Daily Mail reported that Prince Harry added her diptych ‘Everybody Needs Somebody To Love’ to his own collection, presumably as a love gift for his now bride-to-be Meghan Markle
  7. Culminating with a recent commission by Sir Elton John, who added a gorgeous painting on 2 canvases to his personal collection last week, just in time to celebrate his imminent ‘Farewell Yellow Brick Road’ World Tour, Van Donna’s meteoric rise seems unstoppable. 
  8. Van Donna has so far enjoyed massive press coverage by People, Architectural Digest, Vogue, Grazia, Daily Mail, Cosmopolitan, Insider, Refinery 29, Harper’s Bazaar, Express, Hello!, Mirror, Glamour, Metro, Conde Nast Traveler, Artnet, Yahoo!, IBT, OK!, 9 Honey, Pop Sugar, MSN, 93.7FM, Female First, Whimn, Kiis 101.1, Daily Star, Brides, Bustle and the list goes on…

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2. E$COBAR

  1. The creator of the “GoodFellas” spoof piece – a true smash and irresistibly relevant – E$COBAR’s tag name comes from Pablo Escobar, antihero of the Netflix smash series Narcos.
  2. His artworks explore the Western world’s culture, its values and its contradictions appealing to the Western,  Middle Eastern and Eastern cultures at the same time.
  3. Global top 500 CEO’s, Royal Families, Heads Of State as well as many celebrities, football players and TV personalities are adding his works to their collections.
  4. E$COBAR has been featured in sold-out shows in London, NY, Dubai and Riyadh, sold pieces at auctions and had a dedicated one night event at London’s top night club Maddox.

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3. BAMBI

Dubbed “The female Banksy”, street artist Bambi, whose fans range from Robbie Williams to Rihanna, reveals the importance of social issues and feminism to her work – but offers few hints as to her identity.

Her work decorates the streets and underpasses of north London, as well as the homes of everyone from Kanye West and Rihanna to Robbie Williams and Adele, but – like her male counterpart Banksy – Britain’s best-known female street artist has gone to great lengths to preserve her anonymity…

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