Takashi Murakami (b. 1962, Tokyo) is one of the leading figures of the contemporary art world. He brought a new stylistic movement to Japan, called the Superflat movement, which references the flatness in traditional Japanese painting such as Ukiyo-e as well as the post-war culture of anime and manga. As an established artist in Japan, he created the Hiropon Factory, a studio that eventually developed into Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd, an artist management and art production company. He serves as a mentor for other well-known artists from the Superflat movement such as Aya Takano, and largely represents the contemporary art world in Japan.

Murakami's characters - his flowers, lions, smiley faces, bears, and other kawaii anime characters - are immediately recognizable to any person regardless of art historical background. He has a large influence over pop culture, creating Kanye West's Graduation album cover and collaborating with fashion icons such as Louis Vuitton's artistic director Virgil Abloh. Murakami's art expands from illustrations to sculptures to pillows, making high-end art available to practically anyone.

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