I’ve discovered in the past that if you write the word “penis” in a blog post, it tends to get a lot of hits. So I wonder what’s going to happen when I say: Today I was in London and I saw a very large breasted woman in stockings and suspenders, and then a giant golden… penis.
I was near King’s Cross, but don’t get me wrong. It was all in the name of art, darlings.
The Gagosian Gallery (London, WC1X 9JD) is currently holding an exhibition of Takashi Murakami’s work. I was in the area, so I decided to pop in and see it in all its glory.
(Picture borrowed from the Gagosian Gallery website, as no pictures were allowed in the exhibition.)
Takashi Murakami is a Japanese artist with a very interesting collection of work. I’m sure many of you will have seen his work without even realising it, as he created the Google doodle on June 21st this year.
As you can see, not all of Murakami’s work relates to sexual fetishism, but quite a lot of it does! In the gallery, I saw the aforementioned golden member, alongside a silver statue of, er, lady parts. There were also life-size (or perhaps larger) canvases featuring naked women. I found them difficult to look at, as they looked so childlike. I think it was because they had no pubic hair. I wonder if this is because, in Japan, it was previously deemed to be obscene to create pornography showing public hair (Edit: should have read “pubic hair” not “public hair”, but keeping the typo for David who spotted it and liked it!). In fact, it’s still frowned upon even in an educational setting. (For more on that topic, see Wiki!)
Murakami is the creator of a style of art called “Superflat”. In the words of Wiki: “Murakami’s style is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga. Superflat is an artistic style that comments on otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism and sexual fetishism.” I have to say, giant schlongs aside, I really like Murakami’s work. In fact, it reminds me of a conversation I once had with an art teacher…
I used to be really interested in art when I was at school. I would often doodle in my free time, and I particularly liked to draw faces. I once filled a page in my sketchbook with cartoonish faces with large eyes and strange hair. I was told off by my art teacher, even though we were doing a project on faces. She told me that cartoons weren’t art. I’ll never forget that, and looking at Murakami’s work in the Gagosian Gallery today reaffirmed my belief that “cartoons” (anime, manga, whatever you want to label them) are art. Art has evolved, and it’s not all landscapes and still-lifes anymore.
For me, the real bonus of the exhibition was the freebie (I love a good freebie!). One of Murakami’s famous works is this little lady:
Actually not so little, this piece of art, which I believe is called “Big Box Paper KO2” or possibly “Nurse Paper” is really cute. Luckily, the freebie came in the form of a flat-pack paper craft version, labelled as “Project KO2”!
I can’t wait to make her up and test out my origami skills! (Of course, I’ll share the finished result on Haikugirl’s Japan.)
As I mentioned above, photos couldn’t be taken in the gallery. However, if you want to see more of the exhibition and also hear about the art straight from the artist’s mouth, check out the excellent video posted at the end of this Huffington Post article.
The exhibition is on until August 5th, and remember that it’s probably not one to take your kids to! 😉 It’s free to enter, and you can find out more details on the Gagosian Gallery’s website.