Takashi Murakami (American/Japanese, b.1962) is a painter and sculptor known for his combination of art, commerce and Japanese culture. Murakami earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts, Master of Fine Arts and he graduated from Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied Nihonga (traditional Japanese painting). He first achieved success in the early 1990s with his works dealing with otaku (Japanese term for fans related to cartoons and animation) and the contradictions between contemporary Japanese society and American culture.
In 1996, he founded Hiropon Factory in Japan, which later evolved into Kaikai Kiki Co, Ltd, a major artist management company. Murakami is also a curator and critic of Japanese art. In 2000, he developed the Superflat movement, a postmodern drawing style inspired by Japanese manga (Japanese comics), graphic design, traditional Japanese prints and paintings. Throughout his career, Murakami has increasingly blurred the lines between fine art and popular culture by turning his artwork into merchandise, such as the comic book character Mr. Dob. A highlight of his artistic career describes the collaboration with Marc Jacobs, in which he designed handbags with the Louis Vuitton logo. Murakami lives and works in Tokyo and in New York.