Almost 20 years ago, Takashi Murakami coined the term “superflat” to describe Japanese art, in terms of both its emphasis on surface (spurred by traditional painting as well as anime and manga) and how the end of World War II had leveled class differences in Japan and given rise to a culture with little difference between high and low. This aesthetic has gotten him all manner of showcases outside the walls of museums, designing Louis Vuitton bags and Kanye West album covers. Now, his blockbuster show Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg comes to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth after successful stops in Chicago and Vancouver.
The show includes his early, dark, monochromatic paintings from the 1980s, but splashier items are on display as well, such as his murals featuring brightly colored grotesque monsters, large canvases festooned with gold and platinum, and wallpaper depicting flowers with smiley faces. The show takes its name from a painting of an octopus eating its own leg, which Murakami has referred to as a self-portrait. Wackiness, danger, cuteness, and vibrant color all await you at the Modern, making the museum’s recent admission price hike seem well worth the expense.
Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg runs Sat thru Sep 16 at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, 3200 Darnell St, FW. Admission is $10-16. Call 817-738-9215.