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Major Takashi Murakami Exhibition Fuses Virtual and Physical Artworks

“An Arrow through History” spotlights the artist’s ‘Clone X’ avatars and original artworks at Gagosian NY.

One scroll down in Takashi Murakami’s OpenSea profile, and you’ll notice his Clone X NFT collaboration with RTFKT having values of over 14 ETH or roughly 40,000+ USD. The numbers are pretty shy compared to the value of his traditional artworks that range from $200,000 to the millions in the secondary market. It’s clear that Murakami is making a big name for himself in the metaverse as his traditional market continues to attract interest. But, what does this mean for Murakami as an artist regardless of his sale prices?

For the acclaimed Japanese artist, the convergence of traditional and digital art marks a sort of “cognitive revolution” as he explained in a statement by Gagosian. In full, he expressed: “When I work on a creative production, I make no distinction between digital and analog. I’m always working in the context of contemporary art, and that context is all about whether I can be involved in events that manage to trigger a cognitive revolution.”

Gagosian is paying homage to Murakami’s continuing traditional art practice and his foray into the world of crypto art by launching a multifold exhibition called “An Arrow through History.” Taking place in two of Gagosian’s NY galleries at 976 and 980 Madison Avenue with the third presentation being a virtual one and available online at Gagosian’s website, the artist will show his fans the type of contemporary art world he envisions which doesn’t solely rely on traditional or physical, rather, futurist implications.

The exhibition marks the artists first one since 2014 with paintings, portraits and all sorts of Superflat pieces inspired by his CloneX avatars and NFT-related pieces including his anticipated Murakami.Flowers NFT collection that will be released at the end of the year. “The artist’s newest interpretation of his iconic flower motif, Murakami.Flowers combines his influential Superflat aesthetic with a style that evokes nostalgia for the pixelated graphics of 1980s video games, especially those played on the Nintendo Famicon console,” stated the gallery.

Other highlighted works include works inspired by an Ancient Yuan Dynasty Vase which will be situated in the gallery’s 976 Madison Avenue space. Vice versa, the works at Gagosian will also translate the digitally modeled NFTs into meticulously detailed, hand-painted portraits and full-scale figurative sculptures—physical manifestations of art created for the metaverse.

Running from May 11 to June 25, “An Arrow through History” will open in New York just ahead of a special exhibition dedicated to Murakami at the Broad in Los Angeles. Featuring all of the museum’s Murakami works and new immersive environments, “Takashi Murakami: Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow” will be on view from May 21 through September 25, 2022. Gagosian has also announced that the gallery now accepts cryptocurrency. Through a partnership with Coinbase, payments will be accepted in Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and USD Coin (USDC). Visit Gagosian’s website for more information.

In case you missed it, Gagosian recently opened a new boutique in the heart of London.

Gagosian New York
976 Madison Ave,
New York, NY 10075

980 Madison Ave,
New York, NY 10075

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