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Murakami Show The Most Popular MCA Exhibit Ever — Outselling Even Bowie

By David Matthews | September 20, 2017 2:05pm
 A new exhibit on the Japanese pop artist debuts Tuesday at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 220 E. Chicago Ave. 
Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg
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STREETERVILLE — The psychedelic world of Takashi Murakami is now the most popular exhibit ever at the Museum of Contemporary Art. 

More than 193,000 people had seen "Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg" as of Wednesday afternoon, breaking the previous attendance record held by the museum's "David Bowie Is" 2014-15 exhibit. 

"The audiences for this show have been amazing, incredibly youthful and diverse with an enthusiastic thirst for all that Murakami produces," Michael Darling, the museum's chief curator, said in a statement.

A Japanese pop artist who's collaborated with Louis Vuitton and Kanye West (among many others), Murakami delivered more than 50 works for the museum's exhibit, which included some of his earliest works as well as never-before-seen pieces. 

The exhibit was developed in partnership with pop culture magazine Complex, which ran a pop-up merchandise truck outside the museum, 220 E. Chicago Ave., during the exhibit's run.   

Murakami has one of the most familiar aesthetics in today's modern art world, drawing inspiration from Japanese manga comics and featuring a wide array of colorful characters. The "super flat" expression he coined "flattens out" the distinction between high and low art, making his work accessible to all, Darling said when the exhibit opened in June.

Murakami employs over 100 assistants who help with this paintings, one of which stretches more than 300 feet long. The exhibit's namesake installation, "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg," stretches 114 feet and takes up an entire room.

Murakami also is known for designing Kanye West's "Graduation" album cover and collaborating with Adidas and Louis Vuitton, among others. 

The exhibit runs through Sunday, and timed tickets are required to see it this weekend. Those 21 and older can see the exhibit during the museum's late-night Prime Time event from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday.


A Peek Inside The Japanese Pop Art of Takashi Murakami, Now at the MCA

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