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Takashi Murakami
May 15, 2008 5:45 PM   Subscribe

Hentai sculpture sells for $15m (NSFW)

Murakami! Murakami! Murakami! Murakami! Murakami! Murakami!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 (98 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow. Part of me wants to say that's worth $15 million dollars. It's hilarious.
posted by Nattie at 5:50 PM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can totally do that with my come, by the way. I use it to snag all sorts of stuff - glasses, books, the remote..
posted by kbanas at 5:53 PM on May 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


Obvious pull-quote the magazine somehow overlooked:

Pretty gratifying, though? "Yeah, yeah, yeah."
posted by rokusan at 5:53 PM on May 15, 2008


Ejaculate Lasso would make a swell band name.
posted by naju at 5:53 PM on May 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


There's a sucker born every minute....
posted by gen at 5:54 PM on May 15, 2008


are you fucking kidding me? you've got to be fucking kidding me. tentacle porn, got it. school girl outfits, ok, fine. but a cum lasso? are you fucking kidding me?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:57 PM on May 15, 2008


WASTE!!
posted by Flex1970 at 5:58 PM on May 15, 2008


kbanas: "I can totally do that with my come, by the way. I use it to snag all sorts of stuff - glasses, books, the remote.."

Master... Teach us.
posted by Science! at 5:58 PM on May 15, 2008


That's it. I quit.
posted by Muddler at 6:00 PM on May 15, 2008


I wonder how much his twin, hiropon, will go for...
posted by Large Marge at 6:09 PM on May 15, 2008


End times, baby, end times. (raises glass of Lagunitas Censored Copper ale)
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:10 PM on May 15, 2008


Is that Cloud?? Man I KNEW he liked the hot tub too much!
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:11 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I remember a previous Metafilter post about the "Super Flat" art movement. One of the articles featured a picture of this sculpture as an example, among others. And somehow when I saw this link title I knew, without even recognizing the name of the artist, that the "hentai sculpture" selling for fifteen-fucking-million dollars was the dude with the ejaculate lasso. Do you know how I knew? Because it was the most perverted and disgusting piece in that old "Super Flat" article, and we are talking about Japan.
posted by schroedinger at 6:25 PM on May 15, 2008


No one will beat the very first comment on the nymag.com article:

"Congratulations on your purchase of a 15 million dollar japanese action figure jacking off"
posted by Mikey-San at 6:29 PM on May 15, 2008 [16 favorites]


I think it's kinda cool, though I am not sure I'd want it in the house.
posted by everichon at 6:30 PM on May 15, 2008


Remember the 1/35 soldier ornaments?

Right, well uh..
posted by theiconoclast31 at 6:30 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe on the lawn....
posted by everichon at 6:31 PM on May 15, 2008


Murakami knows the market, that's for sure. He recently had an exhibition touring the US that featured the gift shop as its centerpiece. He has boldly and proudly sold out from day one.
posted by mr_roboto at 6:31 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


hey, wow. I had that picture as an avatar for a while, and never new how much it was worth.
posted by kolophon at 6:32 PM on May 15, 2008


Ugh, I caught a glance at this when leafing thorough an exhibit book at the MOMA a year ago. Barf.

Or, one could say that this is just a modern day version of Michelangelo's "David," and....and...I need some eyebleach.
posted by hellojed at 6:34 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Large Marge: "I wonder how much his twin, hiropon, will go for..."

An inspiration.
posted by stbalbach at 6:36 PM on May 15, 2008


"are you fucking kidding me? you've got to be fucking kidding me. tentacle porn, got it. school girl outfits, ok, fine. but a cum lasso? are you fucking kidding me?"

Amazing, isn't it? And right after I sculpted a giant human egg in the shape of a bull.

What a coincidence.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:36 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, does anyone know which Rothko was the one that failed to sell at the same auction?
posted by oddman at 6:48 PM on May 15, 2008


goddamn people have some self-respect

goddamn

goddamn.
posted by sonic meat machine at 6:49 PM on May 15, 2008


Sauce?
posted by Kinbote at 6:49 PM on May 15, 2008 [6 favorites]


It is kind of compelling, as a statement. In the linked interview Murakami addresses an interesting point about Japanese culture: if this particular sculpture were just a miniature, it might be produced en masse in China and a bunch of otaku would scoop them up without anyone batting an eye. By making it life-sized and as inappropriate as possible, it magnifies the underlying discord.
posted by krippledkonscious at 6:51 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to imagine ways in which I would try to make this sculpture more appealing to own if for some odd reason it ended up in my home. The first thing I thought of was a large spinning globe in the lasso. The second, pants.
posted by NikitaNikita at 6:54 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally prefer his breast milk jump rope...
posted by not applicable at 7:04 PM on May 15, 2008


I was hoping it would be his series of statues of the girl turning into an airplane. Now, that's pervy.
posted by jtron at 7:25 PM on May 15, 2008


I fucking hate Murakami. I can't wait until his current show leaves Brooklyn so I can enjoy the Botanical Gardens without knowing there is a psychedelic smiley face or a cum lasso close proximity.
posted by Falconetti at 7:30 PM on May 15, 2008


MOAR!

Actually, for $15 million right now, I would figure out how to do it and offer a contract for a set number of performances.
posted by Samizdata at 7:39 PM on May 15, 2008


Gee, what I've seen of Japanese men in porn films, Marakami is being extremely generous.
posted by brickman at 7:40 PM on May 15, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, does anyone know which Rothko was the one that failed to sell at the same auction?

Yup...

“Orange, Red, Yellow,” an abstract Rothko in dense tones from 1956, was expected to fetch $35 million. It was being sold by Heinz Eppler, a philanthropist and collector from New York and Palm Beach, Calif. There were no bids for the painting, which failed to sell. A small triangle by the lot number indicated that Sotheby’s had a financial interest in the painting. Before the sale, some contemporary-art dealers said they had heard that Sotheby’s had purchased it in partnership with Robert Mnuchin, a Manhattan dealer. Perhaps there were too many red Rothkos for sale this week. On Tuesday night at Christie’s, a Rothko in reds and yellows went for $50.4 million, a highlight of that sale. NYT
posted by R. Mutt at 7:42 PM on May 15, 2008


So, does anyone know which Rothko was the one that failed to sell at the same auction?

I remember it was called "Orange, Red, Yellow" from 1956 that didn't sell from this NY Times article (mentioned near the end).
posted by MissNefertiti at 7:44 PM on May 15, 2008


Oh my god. He compares his work to religous iconography.

Although, some day, I'd like to see the Virgin Mary's massive rack...
posted by Samizdata at 7:44 PM on May 15, 2008


Weak sauce.
posted by kumazemi at 7:45 PM on May 15, 2008


I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art. It's like the majority of you researched reactions to controversial art works of the last 100 years and then just copied and pasted. And good heavens how hilarious that the next FPP is about Picasso's Guernica.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 8:09 PM on May 15, 2008 [5 favorites]


Flash forward to next halloween.
*ding dong*
"Trick or treat."
*gasp* - "Honey you might want to call the police."
"No, its ok. I'm Murakami's My Lonesome Cowboy. Its my costume."
Lonesome Cowboy eh?
I'll be damned. . . I would have guessed Onan the Barbarian.
Now get your ejaculate off my damn porch.
You're obviously too old to be out halloweening.
posted by isopraxis at 8:20 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art.

Contemporary?

Sure.

Art?

Sure.

Fine?

Oh, please.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:27 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


I can't really see needing something like this so badly that I would spend that kind of scratch for it, unless I was moving in across the street from like John Hagee and needed something to mount on the front lawn.
posted by The Straightener at 8:33 PM on May 15, 2008 [7 favorites]


--->LIMIT BREAK
----->Cum Lasso (All)
posted by Avenger at 8:51 PM on May 15, 2008 [14 favorites]


I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art.

LOLSQUAREZ!
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:00 PM on May 15, 2008


Yeah, but those are Zimbabwe dollars...
posted by wfrgms at 9:19 PM on May 15, 2008


Japan has really weird rodeos.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:21 PM on May 15, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art.

hey, it's all entertainment, isn't it?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:22 PM on May 15, 2008


I ordinarily just get pissed off my big-ticket art, but I'm sort of happy that this went for $15M. You know what this has over the Rothko? It's fucking funny, you humorless twats.
posted by phooky at 9:34 PM on May 15, 2008 [3 favorites]


s/my/at/. Bah.
posted by phooky at 9:35 PM on May 15, 2008


Oh, I was just reading about his work with Louis Vuitton.
Here I was thinking he was all about the cutesy-warhol-anime-for-kanye-and-lvmh types.
posted by neetij at 9:46 PM on May 15, 2008


I can't wait until his current show leaves Brooklyn so I can enjoy the Botanical Gardens without knowing there is a psychedelic smiley face or a cum lasso close proximity.

In Brooklyn, those are always in close proximity.

tentacle porn, got it. school girl outfits, ok, fine. but a cum lasso?

I don't really understand the cum lasso hate in here. What's wrong with a good cum lasso? I'd pic that over bestiality with aliens or pedophilia any day. As long as it doesn't get in your eyes, because that hurts.
posted by me & my monkey at 10:14 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Eh. It was only slightly weirder than I expected.
posted by Caduceus at 10:20 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


This wanking anime boy is the ultimate personification of Art and, by his existence, Not-Art as well. Anime boys are common, a dime a dozen, sold by the millions on notebooks for school children, therefore it is Not Art. Art is something the artist does because of a deep primal urge, because the artist must, and because the artist gets rather cranky if the art is not released from the artist, often in gloopy ways involving paint or plaster-of-Paris or pureed jellyfish spleens or whatever the cool kids are doing these days.

Ergo, thus and therefore, the commonplace anime boy is, by virtue of his wanking - which is a process of creation - he is MAKING ART.

Thank you, Winter Sorbeck. You were the best art teacher I ever had. And if anyone tried to give me this statue as a present I would break it over their fool heads.
posted by cmyk at 10:30 PM on May 15, 2008 [4 favorites]


I can't bring myself to dislike anything that reminds me of Bill Hicks' classic stand-up line about "arcing ropes of jism."

Anyway, people can spend their money on whatever they want. I buy peanut butter cups. If I had 15 million, I'd probably buy a human-size PB cup with jizz flying out of it. I like the absurd aspects of humanity.
posted by ktoad at 11:05 PM on May 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wha-wha-what?!

Art is dead. (or sticky)
posted by The Light Fantastic at 11:24 PM on May 15, 2008


Some art has a presence in person that it doesn't in a (much tinier, 2-D) reproduction.

I saw hiropon at the SFMOMA a few years ago, and all I can say is that being in the presence of one of these things is quite, um, arresting. The experience isn't unpleasant or painful, but neither is it beautiful, and you really don't know what to say or how to react -- and so there's this incredibly uncomfortable but compelling moment where you're just "there," with it, and "it" is pretty much all you're aware of for that moment. And then, when you come back down to earth, you have a lot of new and interesting stuff to think about. Which is pretty darn cool in my book, and one of the reasons people make and experience art.
posted by treepour at 12:11 AM on May 16, 2008 [7 favorites]


"presumably from oversees."

sheesh...
posted by crazylegs at 12:17 AM on May 16, 2008


Somehow I can't escape picturing it's the Benefits Supervisor who's getting lasso'd.
posted by Anything at 1:09 AM on May 16, 2008


$15m !

As an art-dealer acquaintance told me recently in a discussion about inflation and recession and the resiliance of the art market in the face of so much doom-and-gloom news, "Well, money's got to go somewhere."
posted by From Bklyn at 1:57 AM on May 16, 2008


Somewhere in San Fernando Valley, Peter North is crying
posted by matteo at 2:01 AM on May 16, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'll be damned. . . I would have guessed Onan the Barbarian.

In case anyone here hasn't yet seen Tim Kreider's rendition of this particular gentleman, here it is.
posted by dansdata at 2:05 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


I saw Cum Lasso open for Foreigner at the Meadowlands in 1988. That was back when they still knew how to kick ass. Now, they're all about the ballads. They kinda remind me of Train, except girls don't like them.
posted by jbickers at 2:52 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Peter North was the model for that piece.
posted by fixedgear at 4:45 AM on May 16, 2008


What room would you put that sculpture in anyways?
I'm guessing the bathroom or the bedroom, but it could also be in the foyer I suppose, or the garden.
posted by Vindaloo at 5:34 AM on May 16, 2008


So, does anyone know which Rothko was the one that failed to sell at the same auction?

It was that one that's just big patches of colour.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:59 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


As long as it doesn't get in your eyes, because that hurts.

Burns even.
posted by pinothefrog at 6:19 AM on May 16, 2008


Seconding treepour - I've seen both Hiropon and Cowboy in person, and they lose something in the translation to a small pic. (I also recall them as being quite a bit larger than 'lifesize')
posted by bashos_frog at 6:57 AM on May 16, 2008


Cum lasso: Ugly, sort of revolting, but also hilarious.

The Rothko: Merely ugly.

I think the market sorted this out pretty accurately, myself.
posted by rusty at 7:04 AM on May 16, 2008



I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art. It's like the majority of you researched reactions to controversial art works of the last 100 years and then just copied and pasted.


Please provide a definition of fine art that includes both this work as well as traditional fine art works, like the Mona Lisa, for example, but which does not also include everything else every painted or sculpted, and which does not rely on popularity or auction price as selection criteria.

The art world has been co-opted by people with far more money than taste. This piece was actually sold by gallery owner Marianne Boesky. Her last name should sound familiar.

The reason we are reading about this piece because it's shocking(!) But that's all it is. Shocking. I've often wondered how the art world would react if a gunman shot up some offices somewhere, then took pictures of the bodies and blood strewn over desks and copiers, blood-spattered pinstripes and whiteboards, etc. and posted them online as his portfolio.

I wonder if this gunman was able to get these photos online and gave them suitably arty titles like "Exsanguination IV," "Red on Wool 14", etc before the cops riddled him with bullets, would some enterprising gallery owner scoop up the photos from his estate. Would the art press reproduce the photos in their magazines alongside articles that marvel at the "raw energy" of the works, "symbolic of corporate tyranny" etc.

I don't care that someone spent millions to by this crap. What annoys me is the publicity it gets and the breathless articles like the one here that implicitly tell the reader "If you don't understand this, you don't understand art."
posted by Pastabagel at 7:31 AM on May 16, 2008


Honestly, I think this would be a pretty striking piece at life/larger-than-life size. But the small picture makes it look like an action figure, and that makes it funny.
posted by graventy at 7:41 AM on May 16, 2008


when you come back down to earth, you have a lot of new and interesting stuff to think about

Such as? Not snarking, genuinely curious.

Haven't seen it live, but on the face of it, this reminds me of George Orwell on Dali. Sniggly naughty boy of some talent going for the shock effect. Well, whatever, but fifteen mil is a substantial chunk of change, and there's an awful lot of good art out there that this particular chunk did not buy.

I suppose we have to credit our peculiarly secular age for this phenom of pornography-as-art, what with Jeff Koons and his ex-wife, and latterly, John Currin's paintings. The hip must have their day and prove they're unflappable, though none of the commentary on those two has much impressed me. I suppose I'd be outraged if I were younger; mostly I'm depressed that it's considered worth any one's while.

Much less 15 mil.
posted by IndigoJones at 7:42 AM on May 16, 2008


Without the price tag, I wouldn't have heard of this sculpture.
So $15M is useful, at least as a media.

Art has given me so much surprise and joy and empathy over the years that I don't think that the art world is stupid, I don't even think that the art market is stupid, although it can look zany sometimes.

So my first reaction when I discover some new, strange art market sensation is to ask myself a series of questions. treepour just said it beautifully:

being in the presence of one of these things is quite, um, arresting. The experience isn't unpleasant or painful, but neither is it beautiful, and you really don't know what to say or how to react -- and so there's this incredibly uncomfortable but compelling moment where you're just "there," with it, and "it" is pretty much all you're aware of for that moment. And then, when you come back down to earth, you have a lot of new and interesting stuff to think about. Which is pretty darn cool in my book, and one of the reasons people make and experience art.

Like, Why does it feel so new? Is it the first time that I am seeing an ejaculation in hight art? Apparently, yes. Why? We have been doing human representation for 40 or 50 000 years, human bodies have been shown and celebrated and contorted in every possible form and shape and this simple, basic act of pleasure has not been represented or, at least, accepted and recognized and "museumized" before? Why? I note that Murakami's way of doing it is full of youth, joy, exuberance, idealism in the purest manga optimistic way, so there is no trace in it of any sin, guilt, abuse or dirt associated with sex. Surprisingly, there not an ounce of porn in it.

Well done, Mr Murakami.

Also it doesn't arrive in a contemporary vacuum: it is a welcome counterpoint to Damien Hirst's obsession with death or Lucian Freud's heavy eye on decaying flesh. It is a celebration of life.

Would Michelangelo have approved? Yes, no doubt about it. Leonardo? Check. Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp, Dali, Warhol? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. They all would have seen it as daringly "liberating". That's it: it's liberating.

Very well done, Mr Murakami.
Thanks, Manitoba.
posted by bru at 7:43 AM on May 16, 2008 [6 favorites]


Would Michelangelo have approved? Yes, no doubt about it. Leonardo? Check. Picasso, Matisse, Duchamp, Dali, Warhol? Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. They all would have seen it as daringly "liberating". That's it: it's liberating.

I could just as easily say they think it is silly schlock. But nice appeal to authority. Too bad all the people you namecheck are dead and can't give us their opinion.

We have been doing human representation for 40 or 50 000 years, human bodies have been shown and celebrated and contorted in every possible form and shape and this simple, basic act of pleasure has not been represented or, at least, accepted and recognized and "museumized" before?

He isn't representing the basic act of pleasure. Do the expression on that face look like pleasure to you? Does it look like ecstasy? Or does it look like the face of a cartoon hero? The title is "My Lonesome Cowboy." Hence the lasso. It's a juxtaposition of the myth of the American cowboy (i.e. classic American pop culture) with Japanese pop culture.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:03 AM on May 16, 2008


The fact that the picture is supposedly NSFW is sad. It's OK in museums, but offices? Never!

I *like* Murakami, but with a choice, I'd still take the Rothko instead in a heartbeat.

Is it the first time that I am seeing an ejaculation in hight art? Apparently, yes.

No. Well maybe yes, the first time you are seeing it, but definitely *not* the first time it has made a splash.

Remember Piss Christ guy? His ejaculate art (he has more, I think). Also, the art of ejaculation (a few more. Perhaps NSFW.)

I don't know a whole lot about modern art, but I don't spout about what I know not.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:15 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


The art world has been co-opted by people with far more money than taste.

... ever since about 10,000 BCE. Where is this "art world" you speak of, anyway. It sounds like a bizarro place to visit.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:19 AM on May 16, 2008


Too bad all the people you namecheck are dead and can't give us their opinion.
Sorry, caveat: I was just talking about my perception of these guys through their work, what I feel is their deep grounded physicality.

That said, I am not trying to convince you of anything. You don't like it. You are not alone.
I prefer to share knowledge and perceptions than to fight and convince.
I find interesting the juxtaposition of this work with its timeliness and the value that the market has stamped on it. Interesting. New. Disturbing.
And, as I said, I respect what the art market has to say.
You don't. I have no quarrel with you.
I won't visit the Moma with you. That's all.
posted by bru at 8:21 AM on May 16, 2008


Thanks for the links, mrgrimm.
posted by bru at 8:31 AM on May 16, 2008


$15 million?.....







Cum again?
posted by Wonderwoman at 9:39 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wonder if this gunman was able to get these photos online and gave them suitably arty titles like "Exsanguination IV," "Red on Wool 14", etc before the cops riddled him with bullets, would some enterprising gallery owner scoop up the photos from his estate. Would the art press reproduce the photos in their magazines alongside articles that marvel at the "raw energy" of the works, "symbolic of corporate tyranny" etc.

Don't be asinine, whether you're paying attention or not the art world has a fairly cautious morality. I remember doing a performance workshop where the tutor made it very clear that when doing work in public she considered brushes with the police occasionally inevitable, but to be very careful considering our motives for what we were doing in relationship to the people who would be seeing or experiencing it.

For real life context, the art world has jumped to condemn Guillermo "Habacuc" Vargas for starving a dog in a gallery, and (although his name escapes me) the yba wannabe who cast cadavers in bronze without the family's consent a few years ago.

So if you were actually wondering what the art worlds reaction would be then I hope this satisfies your curiosity, and if you weren't then stop being deliberately controversial, no one's going to pay you $15 mil for it.
posted by emperor.seamus at 9:39 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


If this was a twelve-inch-tall statue that some nameless anime fan had sculpted and then photographed for the internet, we'd be mocking it. But because a Big Name Artist managed to squeeze 15mil out of some schmuck for it, we're supposed to coo and gasp over how shocking and provocative and paradigm-redefining it is? No.

The funny thing here isn't the statue at all, although it is worlds of ridiculous. It's the fact that this Murakami guy created an eight-foot-tall statue of something you could find on Deviant Art and scored a huge amount of money for it, because nobody involved was willing to say, "this is stupid," for fear of being labeled Someone Who Does Not Get Art. Which, apparently, is a ghastly crime worthy of scorn and shunning.

Someone just paid 15mil to show how cool and with-it they are, and that is what cracks me up about this.
posted by cmyk at 9:45 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh my god. He compares his work to religous iconography.

Why not? There's dozens of creation myths that feature a god-like figure sowing the world with his seed in a manner not unlike what's been depicted here...
posted by deCadmus at 10:03 AM on May 16, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, you think some jerk-off bought this? Is this like pets and their owners looking alike?
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 10:09 AM on May 16, 2008


$15 mil, huh? I don't think I got paid enough when I posed for that.
posted by quin at 10:21 AM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Saw this at MOCA a few months ago. With children and their parents. It was uncomfortable.

But his artwork is, in my opinion, fascinating. Anybody who has ever wondered about the sexualized nature manga should not be surprised at this sculpture, which takes the medium of manga to a somewhat logical conclusion.

See also the milk-jug jumprope and the naked woman that transforms into a jet, vagina-first.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:23 AM on May 16, 2008


Murakami is our generation's Duchamp.
posted by gnash at 11:25 AM on May 16, 2008


needed something to mount on the front lawn

reminds me of my favorite emo phillips joke about catching a really large fish: "i wanted to mount it right then, but there were people around."
posted by Hat Maui at 11:34 AM on May 16, 2008


Saw this at MOCA a few months ago. With children and their parents. It was uncomfortable.

I also saw it at MoCA, and I agree that there was a much, much larger number of children in attendance than I would have imagined beforehand. A few of the parents looked offended, but it seemed like most of them had read the large and numerous Parental Advisory signs that were posted outside of the exhibit and decided to bring their children anyway. Good on them.

The other thing that I noticed was that, because MoCA was showing exclusive screenings of the new Kanye West video that Murakami had animated, there were a number of people there who (judging by their conversations) seemed as though they had never been in an art museum before. It was really neat watching their reactions to the exhibit.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 11:37 AM on May 16, 2008


I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art.



*ahem*
























FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAART.
posted by stenseng at 11:45 AM on May 16, 2008


I'd like to thank you guys for providing tv-movie worthy responses to contemporary fine art.

Okay. Explain, then, how this is any more "contemporary fine art" than any other wacky Japanese hentai anime porn. Because it's in an gallery instead of some import website or a dark little shop in Shibuya? It's exactly the same as any other hentai, except the guy calls it art. You have seen hentai before, right? Because that's what this is. If I painted a direct copy of a screencap of Jasmine St. Claire's 300-man gang bang, would that be "contemporary fine art" too?
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:12 PM on May 16, 2008


Hey, here's some more contemporary fine art for you. Contemporary fine furry art, that is. I'm sure someone would drop $15 million on one of these too if any furries had jobs. NSFW unless you enjoy the adventure of answering difficult questions when someone sees the firewall logs.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:24 PM on May 16, 2008


If Roy Lichtenstein's enlarged, painted versions of cartoon panels are art, so is this.

They look silly on a webpage or in a book - when shrunk down, they're indistinguishable from the cartoon art they are taken from.

Starting to sound familiar, DecemberBoy?
posted by yhbc at 1:35 PM on May 16, 2008


I will write in defense of the cum lasso.

Right now, anime is an especially popular form of art among a large segment of the population. Hentai also has a considerable following.

I've often commented on how certain artists are out of touch with the tastes of the world, or at least sizable portions of the world. I would point to the "we're growing lice in our hair" folks as examples of artists who are bat shit insane.

One of the places where visual art occupies a place of importance in popular culture is, of course, comic books - and related digital comic art forms. Fans of anime and hentai have (believe it or not) standards concerning what makes good anime art. Murakami's work meets those standards.

Furthermore, there are few subject matters that are out of bounds when one creates hentai. The subject matter in this particular sculpture is silly and odd, but not especially demeaning - my personal main issue with much of hentai.

Murakami is in touch with a large portion of humanity. His artwork covers subject matter and style that a significant chunk of humanity fancies. He creates it with humor (albeit your sense of humor might be significantly different) and at a size that (as a previous poster mentions) forces you to think a little bit about hentai - especially if you're a fan.

The fact that it sold for this amount is no huge surprise to me considering the fan base and considering how much money is currently spent on anime and hentai.

In conclusion, Murakami is doing work that appeals to a significant number of people outside the conventional art world. Good for him.

And, on a personal note, cum lasso! Ewwww!
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:28 PM on May 16, 2008


The art world has been co-opted by people with far more money than taste.

Yes. Welcome to the fifteenth century.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:01 PM on May 16, 2008


Okay. Explain, then, how this is any more "contemporary fine art" than any other wacky Japanese hentai anime porn. Because it's in an gallery instead of some import website or a dark little shop in Shibuya?

Yes. Well, it'd be "contemporary fine art" regardless of the setting, but it's my impression that Murakami is playing with context and gestalt and other (ACTUALLY PRETTY STALE) concepts.

This sculpture is more or less a three-dimensional, modern-day, Japanese Lichtenstein. The handbags? Pure Warhol.

It's called Pop Art. It ain't exactly brand new. (Again: ACTUALLY PRETTY STALE.)

P.S. You know who else didn't like degenerate art?
posted by Sys Rq at 3:24 PM on May 16, 2008


Am I the only person here who likes Murakami, and also likes the gift-shop-as-exhibit thing? Or is it all just, "He's a pervert" and "Let's mock him"?
posted by brina at 5:00 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's like the distillation of every sexist impulse in the art world summed up with total finality: sculptured ejaculate selling for an absurd sum of money.
posted by jokeefe at 5:41 PM on May 16, 2008 [1 favorite]


Can we give up on the whole idea of a shared culture and art as relevant to anything? Why should I care? Its not my money nor my sculpture. This is a private deal between two men. It says absolutely nothing other than how to sell a product. This isnt intellectual or some kind of powerful social statement: its the lowest form of commerce. I mean can we drop the pretense already?

Kudos Takashi, may you spend your money well, give to charity, and leave a healthy amount to your heirs.
posted by damn dirty ape at 6:43 PM on May 16, 2008


when you come back down to earth, you have a lot of new and interesting stuff to think about

Such as? Not snarking, genuinely curious.
The point is that whatever thoughts the experience provoked were new and interesting to me. The actual contents of those thoughts say far more about me than they say about the sculpture.
posted by treepour at 7:27 PM on May 16, 2008


But that's sort of the point of art... or at least a point... you end up discovering or confirming things about yourself...
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:04 PM on May 16, 2008


And good heavens how hilarious that the next FPP is about Picasso's Guernica.

Guernica has a willowy dude jerkin' it?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:57 PM on May 16, 2008


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