The Easel

Takashi Murakami: A reluctant homecoming

Notwithstanding a PhD qualification, Murakami is fascinated with manga – Japanese comics. His “superflat” paintings incorporate this aesthetic via cute / creepy cartoon characters, an uneasy blend of art and commercialism. That hasn’t stopped his work attracting huge prices at auction. His intricately rendered paintings are completed by large numbers of assistants, a process he likens to that used by Rubens.