The Most Important Artists of 2013 (So Far)

20. Takashi Murakami

Exhibitions: Film Takashi Murakami: Jellyfish Eyes screened at Blum and Poe (April 8), "Arhat" at Blum and Poe (April 13 - May 25, 2013), Takashi Murakami at Galerie Perrotin Hong Kong (May 21 - July 6, 2013)

This past April, Murakami exhibited "Arhat"—a word that means "a being who has achieved a state of enlightenment" in Sanscrit. As could be inferred from the name, the show mixed Murakami's manga madness with loftier themes from ancient Eastern traditions. Along with gold sculptures, cartoonish drawings, and candy-colored canvases, Murakami screened his debut film, Jellyfish Eyes, at LACMA. The movie includes monsters, spirits, remote-controlled friends, and a little boy's dream to feed string cheese to jellyfish. Besides his show in LA, the artist is also exhibiting works in Hong Kong this summer featuring anime-style self-portaits. We are on the long list of people who want Jellyfish Eyes to travel beyond Los Angeles. -Leigh Silver

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