Takashi Murakami and Google welcome summer



It's Takashi Murakami's world. We just live in it.


Murakami, who designed today's Google doodle honoring the first day of summer, is one of the biggest contemporary artists today.

His work, which incorporates elements of anime and the Japanese proclivity for extreme cuteness, has hung in galleries, was stamped on purses during a collaboration with Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton, and he even designed the artwork for Kanye West's album Graduation.

Back in 2006, Murakami's very-NSFW sculptures were displayed as part of the Denver Art Museum's groundbreaking contemporary art exhibit RADAR: Selections From the Collection of Kent & Vicki Logan (curated by Blake Milteer, now FAC museum director).

In any case, Murakami's doodle has already drawn grumbling from those who say it's shameless self-promotion. They point to the two main characters in the doodle, which are "mascots" for Murakami's production company.

Self-promotion like this is less tacky to others, who shrug and argue that Murakami has always been pretty commercial. Read more about it here.

And for those below the equator, Murakami designed a doodle for them as well:


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