In a recent interview with Jay Caspian Kang for New York Times Magazine, one of the most important artists of 2014Takashi Murakami, spoke about his art since the tsunami of 2011 and about collaborating with Western artists and brands including Louis Vuitton and Kanye West.

Before Murakami designed the album cover for Kanye's Graduation album, he says that it was Ye's label that connected the two creatives. "Kanye’s record label contacted me and said that he really liked a sculpture of mine — a woman with huge breasts. They asked if he could come to see it. It just so happened that the sculpture had just returned to the studio for repair. I said sure." Murakami added that Kanye "stared at the sculpture, completely without words, just silently looking at it. I think he was moved by it, because he took hundreds of pictures with his digital camera."

Kang also asked Murakami what he thought about the "legal appropriation" of his work, namely the counterfeit Louis Vuitton bags made to resemble his popular collaboration with the brand. "The absolute highlight of my career is this one cover of Artforum," Murakami responded. "It’s a photograph of an African man at the Venice Biennale sewing a fake Louis Vuitton bag with my monogram on it. That photograph captured everything: the fake and the real, Japanese culture, consumer society, capitalism, copy and original — everything in one image."

Click here to read the full interview.