Takashi Murakami (American/Japanese, b.1962) is a painter and sculptor famous for his integration of Fine Art, commercialism, Japanese aesthetics, and cultural criticism into his work. Originally based and working from a studio in Asaka City, Japan, Takashi Murakami quickly established a large scale studio of assistants, taking influence from the work habits of Andy Warhol. Indeed, the Warholian similarities do not end there, for his work draws heavily from the fields of consumer culture, for so long an area deeply imbued in Warhol’s art. Takashi Murakami paints in the self titled style of “Superflat”, a method whereby everything within the image is portrayed in two dimensions only, and one that he used extensively during his commissioned work as a designer in 2003 for Louis Vuitton. The “Superflat” technique finds its origins in far less contemporary surroundings than couture fashion, since it draws upon traditional Japanese techniques pioneered by the panel and screen painters of the sixteenth century. Born in 1962 in Japan, Murakami received his BFA, MFA, and PhD from the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where he studied Nihonga (traditional Japanese painting). He first gained recognition as a sculptor during the early 1990s, exploring otaku (the Japanese term for an obsession with anime and cartoons) and the contradictions between contemporary Japanese society and American culture in his work. In 1996, he created the Hiropon Factory in Japan, which later developed into Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd., a large art making and artist management corporation. Murakami is also a curator and a critical observer of Japanese art. In 2000, he founded the “Superflat” movement, a post modern style drawing inspiration from Japanese manga (comics created in Japan), graphic design, and traditional Japanese prints and screen paintings. Throughout his career, Murakami has increasingly blurred the boundaries between fine art and popular culture by branding his artwork and turning it into merchandise, particularly with the celebrated character Mr. Dob. His embrace of the commercial side of art reached a high point in 2003, when the artist began collaborating with Marc Jacobs in the redesign of the Louis Vuitton logo and handbags. Murakami currently lives and works in Tokyo and New York.