Takashi Murakami is a genius. Not only that, his career, in every conceivable definition, is totally on fire right now. Genius and mega-popularity outside the art world don’t always run hand in hand, but Murakami is hitting all the right touchpoints with demographics that might not normally be exposed to his work.
Newly introduced to a whole new world of fans through his work with Kanye West and Louis Vuitton, and recently celebrated by fans new and old at his recent MOCA exhibit and his current solo show at Blum & Poe in LA, Murakami is universally hailed and loved to death by art critics and hipsters and everyone in between. He can pretty much do no wrong.
And when you can do no wrong, your life-sized sculpture of a bright-eyed anime manga-boy jerking off and whipping his jizz into a gigantic lasso around his head will sell at auction for $13.5 million US. Two nights ago at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening, “My Lonesome Cowboy”, estimated to go for $3-$4 million, surpassed expectations and ended up with a $13.5 million closing bid. Add in the 11% house commission and you’ve got yourself a world-famous Murakami for a cool $15.161 million. The only question that remains… where to put it?
Not like you needed further proof, but Murakami proved just how rad he is again during his MOCA exhibition in LA. When a huge Murakami billboard on Melrose Avenue was elaborately painted on by artists Auger/Revok, it was soon taken down. But not for the negative reasons you might think. Murakami himself had seen pics of the billboard online and loved it so much he wanted it for his own personal collection. And when you’re Murakami, that means the billboard gets dismantled and shipped to you…in Japan. Awesome.