Japanese pop artist to exhibit in Versailles

10th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

Takashi Murakami with a brash and colourful style is chosen to appear in 2010 at the Palace of Versailles in a series of contemporary art exhibits, alternating French and foreign artists.

Paris – Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, best known for work inspired by sexually explicit cartoons, will star in the next series of major exhibitions at the Palace  of Versailles, the museum said Wednesday.

During an event to promote this year's launch of a show of work by French pop artist Xavier Veilhan, Versailles museum director Jean-Jacques Aillagon told AFP that Murakami had been chosen to appear in 2010.

The 47-year-old Japanese artist's work draws on the look of "manga" comic books, perhaps most famously in the 1997 statue Hiropon, which depicts a large chested girl skipping over a "rope" of spurting breast milk.

Last year, Murakami was the only visual artist in Time magazine's list of the world's 100 most influential people.

Murakami has a global cult following, but his brash and colourful style – not to mention his sometimes gleefully obscene subject matter – may raise the hackles of some of the more traditionalist French gallery visitors.

2008's equivalent exhibition in Versailles, a massive exhibition of American pop artist Jeff Koons' work, faced a legal challenge from a French aristocrat and heir of the palace's original resident Louis XIV.

Prince Charles-Emmanuel de Bourbon-Parme felt the "pornographic" exhibition dishonoured his family's illustrious past, but he failed to get it banned.

Nevertheless, almost a million visitors flocked to the Koons show and the museum is hoping for similar crowds this year for Veilhan's futuristic purple horses, a naked woman, and a colossal four-metre long Yuri Gagarin.

In all, eight giant works have been installed in the palace, just southwest of Paris, for a show that will run from 13 September to 13 December.

AFP / Expatica

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