Takashi Murakami
Heison Ho/Hypebeast

2020 Hypes Score
Art , Fashion


Artists like Takashi Murakami made 2020 that much more colorful in a time when despair, disease and uncertainty loomed all over the world. The year may not have been the most groundbreaking for the Japanese visionary due to the closing of his Bar Zingaro and the bankruptcy of his company amid COVID-19, but Murakami still did what he did best — create and collaborate with some of the most notable names in culture today.

The 58-year-old artist is no stranger to the world of pop music, having partnered up with Kanye West early in the rapper’s career with projects like his Graduation album. In 2020, Murakami was called on by reggaeton superstar J. Balvin to create the visuals for his album Colores and its accompanying merchandise. The artist’s popular floral motifs and kaleidoscopic colors made their way to Balvin’s album cover art, videos and wearables. Music hitmaker Billie Eilish was also tapped by Murakami and retail giant Uniqlo for a T-Shirt capsule. The range reimagind Eilish’s logo and aesthetic with the Japanese designer’s iconic vibrant flowers. Other music creations for the year included a teaser video for a Kanye West and Kid Cudi KIDS SEE GHOSTS animated show directed by Takashi Murakami himself. No word yet on official announcement or release but Cudi did say that it was “coming soon.”

The collaborations didn’t stop at music either as streetwear label Supreme commissioned Murakami for a charity box logo tee. The piece, emblazoned with the skatebrand’s popular bogo design and filled with the artist’s smiling florals, was sold to aid in COVID-19 relief.