Takashi Murakami gets spiritual

You may know Takashi Murakami for his ‘superflat’ style (influenced by anime and manga), or perhaps you know him as the guy who filled the palace of Versailles with his first retrospective, designed a collection for Louis Vuitton, and/or did Kanye’s Graduation album art. Following the debut of his first full-length film, Jellyfish Eyes, Murakami’s latest venture is an exhibition in New York titled ‘In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow.’

Despite the morbid title of the exhibition, it isn’t all skulls and death. Inspired by Buddhist themes and the 2011 Japanese earthquake, the pieces at the Gagosian Gallery include paintings and sculptures of monsters, demons, and arhats (Buddha’s disciples), the character ‘Mr DOB’, a recreation of a temple, and a sculpture of the artist himself (self-sculpture?) amongst other pieces.

True to Murakami’s style, it’s mostly bold and colorful, but we can still clearly see the spiritual themes.The Japanese artist told Complex in a recent interview that "after the earthquake and tsunami natural disasters, [he] realized that people do need religion and stories." And he’s given us just that while remaining loyal to his aesthetic.

We can definitely get down with the spirit. The exhibition runs until January 17, 2015 at Gagosian Gallery, 555 West 24th Street, New York.

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