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in l.a. | art + commerce = murakami

in l.a. | art + commerce = murakami

Inside The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA yesterday, folks check out Takashi Murakami‘s graphic and surprising sculpture, “My Lonesome Cowboy.” A long line of local hipsters and parents with children wandered through the retrospective, which seamlessly blends cute Superflat anime imagery with pieces meant for mature audiences. Hardly familiar wth Takashi’s work, I found it hilarious and provocative, particularly the free-standing Louis Vuitton boutique located within the exhibit that includes samples of Marc Jacobs/Takashi Murakami commecial collaborations and offers nearly $1,000 handbags that are being sold in limited editions at the MOCA show.

Crass and grotesque? Maybe. But, also a fitting extension of Takashi’s high and low art (which is apparently created in an Andy Warhol-style factory setting by employees that Takashi supervises). Today, Warhol’s work is incorporated into licensed handbags, sneakers, and even toy dolls, while Takashi has taken that one step futher combining art, commerce, marketing and merchandising into a single effort. Brilliant.

The show continues at MOCA in L.A. through February 11th and is, according to a blog report, heading to the Brooklyn Museum for its only other U.S. viewing (April 5 through July 13, 2008).

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