January 30, 2009
Takashi Murakami is known for his characters, their attractiveness and use of color, and his superflat style, which he is credited for starting.
Superflat, is characterized by flat planes of color and graphic images involving a character style derived from anime and manga. Superflat is an artistic style that comments on otaku lifestyle and subculture, as well as consumerism and sexual fetishism
My personal favourite is his take on the KanyeWestBear [KWB] when he designed the artwork for the album Graduation. His superflat technique helped transformed the appearance of the character and to broaden its appeal to different audiences. Take me as an example, the KanyeWestBear beforehand was in the form of a costumed bear,interesting, but forgettable. Takashi Murakami applied his signature style to it and not only brought it to life, making it a work of art, but also inspired other artists to try their hand at modifying the bear. I usually color my characters by hand, but I want to experiment with using the computer and see how close I can come to matching the superflat effect and what it will add to my characters.
Above are examples of Takashi Murakami’s take on the KanyeWestBear, below are artists who have been inspired by Takashi to create their own versions.