Takashi Murakami : The Palace of Versailles

Popular and controversial Japanese artist Takeshi Murakami has an exhibition of works at Versailles running through 2010.

11,000 people have signed a protest petition stating that the exhibition is disrespectful. A protest march is planned with participants asked to take with them a painting of a cat’s penis, a urinal or bidet on a shopping trolley, or “any other object of your invention”. Let your imagination run wild,” wrote the Save the Chateau of Versailles collective. “Be just as provocative as the ‘artists’ we are forced to admire.” They have obviously forgotten about Duchamp!

Whatever one’s opinion, the juxtaposition of French traditional and Japanese contemporary is certainly thought provoking. But then how contemporary is Murakami’s work? The lead photo of this newsletter is the design from a 10th century Buddhist document box and features symbolic lotus flowers. Compare this with the top of Murakami’s large sculpture at Versailles…and there’s nothing new under the sun (no pun intended!).

In a welcome affirmation of the internationalism of our newsletters, we received an email from renowned US collector of Jakuchu paintings and screens, Mr Joe Price (put in link to Price Collection) who was at the opening of this exhibition with Murakami. Murakami was apparently thrilled to learn that news of the exhibition reached ‘as far as’ Australia!

(Read a full review from the Guardian UK here)