On display at the Yokohama Museum of Art through April 3 is Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection, an exhibition of the Japanese artist’s private holdings. Murakami has worked extensively as a curator and gallerist and like many before him, is an avid collector and has built an ever-growing collection as his career has progressed. Part of the fun of viewing such collections is picking out the artist’s influences and inspirations, all while developing a better sense of their aesthetic range.
Andy Warhol is perhaps the king of such collections. When he died in 1988 he left behind some 10,000 items, including drawings, prints, antiques, watches, world fair memorabilia and tons of kitschy cookie jars. All of it was auctioned off at Sotheby’s in what became one of the most sensational sales of that decade, generating $25 million.
Photo Credit: Newport Street Gallery
André Breton (the father of surrealism) had a similar hoarder mentality, amassing an astonishing collection of paintings and objects that became the ultimate surrealistic shrine. Much of it was unfortunately auctioned off in 2003 in what was scandalously called “the death of surrealism.” A small section of it was kept intact and is on permanent display at the Center Georges Pompidou in Paris.
More recently, Damien Hirst‘s collection became so large (more than 3,000 pieces), that last year he opened his own museum in London, the Newport Street Gallery. It is here where the artist puts on exhibitions to show off some of his best finds, which includes plenty of Picasso, Warhol and Bacon.
Photo Credit: Mori Art Museum
Murakami’s Superflat Collection fits perfectly into this tradition, particularly succeeding in bridging the gap between traditional Japanese art and contemporary art, which he exemplifies so well.
Regardless of how big your own collection is, seeing what these artists have acquired will probably inspire you to get that next piece. And should you be so lucky to be in Japan soon, Murakami also has a solo exhibit in Tokyo running through March 6 at the Mori Art Museum, called The 500 Arhats. The 2012 artwork is reportedly the largest painting in the world (650 feet wide x 10 feet wide), picturing 500 Buddhist saints.