The mad genius of Japanese artist Takashi Murakami will take over the Vancouver Art Gallery for the next three months during the world-renowned artist’s first retrospective in Canada.
The exhibition runs from Feb. 3 until May 6 and is the only Canadian stop of the international tour, which has been exceptionally popular in other cities.
Here is a sneak peak of the exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery:
On Thursday, media were invited to a sneak peek of the exhibition titled The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg.
The phrase draws from Japanese folklore, which points to the octopus’s ability to regenerate a lost arm. Through a translator, Murakami explained that the title is a “self-deprecating reference.”
“He is constantly recycling not only different ideas or historical references, but also a lot of his own motifs and characters from his own paintings — he keeps taking them and morphing them and trying to create something that looks knew, ” explained the translator.
“But he feels like he is recycling and eating his own body in order just to survive because of his lack of real talent.”
If you aren’t familiar with the Japanese artist’s psychedelic-pop paintings, which borrow from anime culture and Japanese art history, you may recognize the work he’s done with brands like Louis Vuitton or his collaborations with musicians Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and curated by Michael Darling and James W. Alsdorf.
It features 55 paintings and sculptures, including a skull surrounded by octopus tentacles that covers the gallery’s Georgia Street façade.
More than three decades’ worth of Murakami’s work are on display, though the exhibition is primarily focused on Murakami’s paintings, including rarely-seen examples from the 1990s.
Murakami, who was celebrating his 56th birthday on Thursday, was surprised by Vancouver Councillor Andrea Reimer, who on behalf of Mayor Gregor Robertson, proclaimed Feb. 1, 2018 as Takashi Murakami Day in the City of Vancouver.