February 8, 2018

WANDER | Murakami x 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' x VAG

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery

Downtown—(Feburary 1, 2018) Famed, eight-legged obsessed Japanese contemporary artist Takahashi Murakami celebrated his fifty-sixth birthday in style by previewing his wildly popular The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg pop art exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery for his first ever retrospective in Canada of his forty-year career.

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery

Full of audacious, brightly coloured artwork layered with critical commentary, the exhibition was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago—where it initially broke attendance records—and curated by Michael Darling and James W. Alsdorf.

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery
Kaikai Kiki giant octopus mascot
I can best describe the comprehensive, chronological collection as a sensory overload and bubblegum selection of colourful art heavily inspired by everything from Japanese folklore to modern manga, anime, and pop culture.

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery

For Murakami, his art is about survival and how he thrives on limitations, pressures, and deadlines. The sea creature title refers to a Japanese saying about sacrificing something of yourself in order to regenerate and ensure survival.

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery

The self-deprecating Murakami was in fine spirits with an outlandish happy-go-lucky spirit and thoughtful answers when explaining the method behind his artwork. Many of his responses were explained as inside jokes about his own self-perceived lack of talent and only being able to recycle past ideas.

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery
Graduation bear collaboration with Kanye West
The exhibition features fifty-five different psychedelic paintings, sculptures, and pop art installations or pieces displaying Murakami's evolution as an artist and conflicted commentator spanning from 1982 until today.

Takashi Murakami | 'The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg' | Vancouver Art Gallery

The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is now open to the public for a three-month long showing until May 6th at the VAG. To celebrate, things kicked off with the exclusive Murakami's Birthday Bash event.


More | YVArcade / CBC / Globe and Mail / Montecristo / Sad MagSeattle Times / Straight

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