Gil Asakawa's Nikkei View | macy’s parade
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Takashi Murakami It was a surreal moment, when I looked up at the TV this morning and saw Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieria nattering on about Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, and how cute his artwork is. The camera switched to the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade  (yeah, it was on -- what's it to ya?) and there was Murakami, bundled up in a fluffy costume that he must have created, designed to look like some indeterminate animal/plant hybrid species. He was bopping up and down and grinning like a mad-man, loving every moment of his nationwide exposure. I did a double take, because Murakami's pop art can be very cute, but he also makes art that is very sexual and fetishistic. He makes life-sized figures of manga-like characters in sexual poses. And, he's created striking, powerful paintings and sculptures that depict the atomic bomb mushroom cloud -- it's a recurring motif in his work.