Takashi Murakami spricht mit Mako Wasaka, February 24,2000 Murakami Studio, Brooklyn ,NY
( Original unter http://www.jca-online.com/murakami.html )
Murakami: Only those artists who have an ability in marketing can survive in the art world. Damien Hirst is a good example. Through his art, you can see the process of how an artist can survive in the art world. First of all, distinctively situate his/her position in art history. Second, articulate what the beauty of his/her art is. Next, sexuality. Then, death. Present what he/she finds in death. If an artist aptly rotates this cycle, he/she can survive. Damien Hirst has been repeating the cycle of birth, death, love, sex and beauty.
Wakasa: Doesn’t every artist try to repeat that cycle?
Murakami: Yes. That’s why Picasso has been continuously consumed as well as Warhol. This attests that artists that have a sense of the market make the best of the rotation. The reason why Matthew Barney is not doing well is that the style of his works remains similar. In addition, he couldn’t make an effective presentation in the theme of death. On the other hand, Damien Hirst expressed death so successfully by slicing cows that viewers understood him. He also succeeded in expressing beauty with his dot paintings.
Wakasa: But even though artists know marketing well, they don’t necessarily become successful.
Murakami: Of course, not. It depends on talent of an artist.
Wakasa: All your projects were very successful.
Murakami: Because I conducted research about the art market. There are examples of what an artist should do at a certain age. If someone wants to survive in any field, he or she should conduct research about the field he or she belongs to. But, most people don’t bother. I think an artist is a person like him. It’s a minimum resistance by a person who dares resist against his or her nihilistic perception: I cannot change anything. Therefore, people who have given up resistance find security when they look at art made by a person who is still resisting. They can have a fantasy that they might be able to resist, too. This is the role of the artist . That’s why I am making art.
Murakami: I think there should be a strong dark emotion within an artist in order to continuously create powerful works. I am making a catalog of the exhibition entitled “Super Flat” at Parco Gallery. It will be bilingual. The exhibition will travel the world. I curated it, including sculptures and comics. In addition, for promotion, I am conducting a series of dialogues on the magazine, Kokoku Hihyo.
Translated from the Japanese by Mako Wakasa and Naomi Ginoza
Text © copyright 2001, Journal of Contemporary Art, Inc. and the authors.
Images © copyright, Takashi Murakami. All rights reserved.