November 20, 2014
Lately we’ve been inspired by art and design themes both in and out of the bedroom. This week, in search of new perspective, we visited Takashi Murakami’s latest show, titled "In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow".
Upon entering the minimalist lobby of the Gagosian Gallery, you feel the energy of a buzzed-about and well-attended show. Entry into the main exhibition room is through a massive and breathtaking replica of a Japanese sanmon, the sacred gates used in Japanese Buddhist temples. The room is filled with dark works of art. We learned that the artist was inspired by the tragic events of the Fukushima nuclear disaster of 2011, which killed more than 15,000 people. There are many expressions of this widespread death and devastation in the works (images of skulls, some black, some colorful), appearing alongside, yet in stark contrast to, Murakami’s signature candy-colored details.
While the collection is thematically more solemn than any of his previous exhibitions, the artist maintains his playful and light-hearted expression. This theme continues, including two club-wielding monsters that rise two-stories tall, contrasted with countless beautiful references to traditional Japanese art. Massive paintings showcase psychedelic patterns and anime-inspired characters. Enamel and metallic accents add a layer of 3D dimension. Many of the pieces are impossibly glossy, making them appear larger than life.
Our final impression? This contemporary collection showcases the dynamic beauty of contradictions and is even more captivating in-person than it is in photographs. If you’re interested in taking a look, the last day to see it at the Gagosian is Saturday, January 17.