Takashi Murakami’s Facebook Profile Picture is Misunderstood in its Own Time

by Will Brand on December 5, 2012 · 4 comments Opportunities

Galerie Perrotin's booth at Art Basel Miami Beach. On right, portraits of KAWS, Anselm Reyle, and Takashi Murakami.

On the right side of the above image there are three works by Takashi Murakami (or, more likely, his elves). To the left of those works is a sheet of paper with the following written on it:

Click to embiggen.

Galerie Perrotin is proud to offer you to commission your own or family portrait by Takashi Murakami.

Portraits have always interested Murakami and in 2011, he began a series featuring his artist friends. Now he would like to develop this project with all of you. As with their oft-compared Factory -like studios, in the idea of commissioning portraits directly to the artist, one can feel the underlying current of Andy Warhol’s influence. Warhol’s project was widely criticized in his own time and now Murakami is taking the risk of being similarly misunderstood in his venture.

The project is also, first and foremost for Murakami, a means to explore the Internet and computer age. Fascinated by new media, Murakami is using digital photos as the core of these portraits. It is not an accident that he chose his Facebook and Twitter profile image for his own entry in the series. Nowadays, people have their own portrait gallery exhibited on digital walls. When choosing one of them to be made into a painting that will not be questioned in just one click, hold on and make the right choice.

Just to recap: Takashi Murakami will paint your portrait. If you are not familiar with the idea of commissioning a portrait, know that it is a tradition that dates all the way back to Andy Warhol. You will not sit for the portrait, but instead will send him a JPEG, because he is fascinated by new media and uses digital photos as the core of this project. If you do this, you will join the exalted ranks of his artist friends, to wit: Anselm Reyle and KAWS. If you think this is dumb, you have misunderstood Takashi Murakami’s very advanced portrait commission project, and will be on the wrong side of history.


Chris-tine Allan December 6, 2012 at 5:57 pm

there is nothing unique or new about doing this. Anyone can do that

K.I.A. December 6, 2012 at 6:53 pm

“Warhol’s project was widely criticized in his own time and now Murakami is taking the risk of being similarly misunderstood in his venture”
yeah, warhol took the risk of pocketing 50K for quick lazy portraits of people who like to hang portraits of themselves. i guess with the japanese art bubble bursting, murakami’s gotta thinks of new revenue…

K.I.A. December 6, 2012 at 6:54 pm

… and “embiggen” is the new “supersize”

Unhygienix December 7, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: