Kanye and Takashi Murakami

Why you should know about him: Takashi Murakami is a prolific Japanese artist, whose work spans a multitude of fine art endeavors and groundbreaking collaborations with labels like Issey Miyake and Louis Vuitton. As part of his ongoing exploration and determination to define post-war Japanese art, he coined the term "Superflat," which theorizes that there is flat, 2-D imagery in both Japanese art historically and the manga and anime of today.

He designed the artwork for Kanye's Graduation album in 2007. He also directed the animated music video for "Good Morning."

"Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of ‘high art.’ In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that's okay—I’m ready with my hard hat."

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