The FT does lunch with Takashi Murakami who was just a very visible figure at ArtBasel where Emmanuel Perrotin sold seven of his new works, two at prices over $1m. That’s a good sign for the artist who has fallen far behind his peers since the financial crisis. In Tokyo, there is a show of his monumental work The 500 Arhats that is 100m in length:
We’re having lunch at his cavernous art-factory in a Tokyo suburb, two trains and a taxi ride from the city centre. In these industrial surroundings — the lift door comes down vertically, like in a garage — he and a team of apprentices churn out art works that will be shipped around the world. The current focus of activity is The 500 Arhats, his first big solo exhibition in Japan for 14 years. The show, which opens at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum in October, will feature a painting 3m-high and a seeing-is-believing 100m in length, which depicts 500 enlightened followers of Buddha, or arhats. In the warehouse is a 25m section with a procession of cartoon grotesques, dazzling and distorted, rendered in shimmering acrylic on canvas.
Lunch with the FT: Takashi Murakami (FT.com)