murakami - Art 1B Final Essay Upon first inspection the...

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Art 1B Final Essay Upon first inspection, the “Murakami” exhibition at MOCA Geffen seemed only slightly similar to the typical examples of classic Pop Art works. However, like, Pop Art, the surface was further surpassed by the meaning. Looking back, I realized that although the two had very different subject matters, they shared the same ideas such as an emphasis in popular culture. Not only did Murakami’s work share the same ideals as Pop Art, but it also expanded on the concepts of the movement and showed that its objectives could be applied to new topics. Even though Pop Art was heavily associated with the breakthrough style in which it was executed, Murakami’s work should be considered under the category of that genre because of its association with consumer culture and its dependency on the media. Like Pop Artists of the past, Murakami was able to create work that was open ended giving the viewer a chance to decide whether the work was purely surface aesthetics or if it functioned to catch the eye as well as make the viewer delve deeper relating the pieces to the world outside the gallery. Murakami’s work was usually a flat styled image which he had popularized and called Superflat. These images were reminiscent of Anime characters sharing such features as the big cartoonish eyes and whimsical personas. He also made sculptures which looked to be pulled straight from his two dimensional works. These works included colorful mushrooms with multiple half closed sedated eyes, clusters of smiling simply drawn daisy flowers, typical figures of women made in an Anime style with stereotypical long legs paired with tiny clothes, and much more to that extent. His works seemed overtly happy almost looking like they had an agenda of putting the viewer into a sense of comfort. I found some of his works over the top especially his flower piece 1
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which was essentially a flat image of multiple daisies with smiling faces overlapped over each other and were included in other pieces such as a cushion copy of one of the daises. He seemed to have recurring characters and even the characters that weren’t used again still fit because there was a unity among all his works. Instead of looking like separate pieces, they appeared as one unified series because he had such a unique style that gave them all relatively the same sentiment. Even though there were a variety of expressions displayed among the works, they gave off a sense of cuteness and the hip “loser” culture. What struck me the most was the multitudes of consumer products bearing the artwork of Murakami. There were literally walls of t-shirts on display making a t-shirt grid which could be considered an art work in itself. I thought the most amazing of his pieces were the sculptures which were either colorful like his flat pieces or a smooth metallic silver color. There were some sculptures that fit comfortably on pedestals but there were also those that towered over the viewer making the pieces, especially the silver one, seem
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This note was uploaded on 10/12/2008 for the course ARTST 18 taught by Professor Batongmaloque during the Spring '08 term at UCSB.

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murakami - Art 1B Final Essay Upon first inspection the...

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