For those who don't know, Takashi Murakami's artwork is on exhibit at the Brooklyn Museum. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students with valid ID (yeah, I'm a student *wink wink*). If you also want to see the Botanical Garden next door, you can get a combo ticket that's only $16
If you don't know who Murakami is, you may find yourself wondering who would be demented enough to decapitate Stitch (from Disney's Lilo & Stitch) and mount his head for display at the entrance to the Brooklyn Museum.
But no, Murakami, also commonly stylized as ©MURAKAMI (makes me think of a Japanese rapper, but we know those don't exist!), is one of the most influential artists to come out of Asia in the late 20th century. In university, Murakami studied a more traditional style of Japanese art, Nihonga. However, he became disillusioned with Nihonga and fixated on the otaku culture since he believed the prevailing popularity of Japanese animation and manga was more representative of contemporary Japanese life. This resulted in Superflat, the style that Murakami is credited with starting.
When you first enter the exhibit, Sailor Moon is there to welcome you to the exhibit.
Okay, not Sailor Moon - some studious internet research revealed her true identity as one of Murakami's signature characters to me, Miss Ko2. Notice the extremely short skirt and the filled-out bust. Indeed, it's quite welcoming and I have an idea as to why she's popular with otakus.
Okay, so as it turns out, Stitch's name is actually Kiki. But is Kiki like Kiki the friendly monkey/chimp, that we know? Kiki is the pink "Stitch" below on the left. The white rabbit-like thing next to him is KaiKai. There was an animated demo that showcased a few episodes of KaiKaiKiKi. It made me think of animated teletubbies. It was quite freaky and I wanted nothing more than to escape from the auditorium, but instead I was forced to watch KiKi grow ridiculously large watermelons by pooping on them. Yeah, poop - do little kids watch this stuff in Japan?
There were also some cool bears (or at least they look like bears to me) on display. And I say cool since these are not your friendly neighborhood care bears, but they are demented bears that belong in Alice in Wonderland right next to the caterpillar smoking the hookah pipe.
That was not the weirdest thing for me. Right after the bears, you run into a girl jumping a rope created from milk spurting from her gargantuan breasts. Her name is Hiropon but I don't think anyone is paying attention to what her name is.
While this is pretty whacky, the craziness does not stop here. Right across the room from Hiropon is My Lonesome Cowboy. I'm not sure why he is 'lonesome' because the cowboy is in quite the happy state while he ejaculates sperm into the air to make a lasso.
After seeing Hiropon and My Lonesome Cowboy I ran off and dragged Peggy over to see it. When she got over the shock, she ran off and dragged her sister over to see it. I'm thinking, I wish my Japanese friend Sorry was here to see this. And while I'm thinking this, some little 13 year old girls walked over gape-mouthed to (no, they did not do anything with their mouths) get a *ahem* handle on the Cowboy.
Murakami also created an alien, Inochi, that stars in a commerical. I'm not sure what the commercial is supposed to be about though. Maybe Sorry can watch this and tell me what the hell is going on.
When you're ready to leave, a many-armed tadpole is at the exit to say good-bye.
Really, about the only normal thing I saw at the exhibit was an animated video of Kanye West's The Good Life. For those not in the know, Murakami was tapped to do the artwork for Kanye's Graduation album.
© MURAKAMI only runs through July 13th. As perverted as everything was, I thought it was kind of cool and definitely worth checking out if you're into the museum thing.