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Brooklyn Museum Announces Exclusive Vuitton Store Within Murakami Exhibition
Takashi Murakami, Flower ball (3D), 2002, Acrylic on canvas mounted on board, 39 3/8 inches diameter, 1 15/16 inches depth, Private Collection, courtesy of Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, Paris and Miami. ©2002 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

BROOKLY, NY.- The Brooklyn Museum announced today the exhibition of a fully operational Louis Vuitton store within and as part of © MURAKAMI, a retrospective of more than 90 works by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, on view from April 5 through July 13, 2008. The Louis Vuitton store will house several Monogram Multicolor products as well as limited "Editioned Canvasses" of the Monogramouflage design: a new print issued from the latest collaboration between Takashi Murakami and Marc Jacobs, Louis Vuitton Artistic Director.

© MURAKAMI was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles (Oct.29, 2007-Feb. 11, 2008) and curated by Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, who initiated the unprecedented inclusion of a Louis Vuitton store in its recent presentation there. Complementing several artworks in the exhibition that feature Murakami's famous Louis Vuitton Multicolor Monogram, the store reflected the artist's complex interweaving of high art, mass culture, fashion, and commerce that has become integral to his philosophy and practice.

Speaking about the inclusion of the Louis Vuitton shop within the exhibition, Takashi Murakami states, "The shop project is not a part of the exhibition; rather it is the heart of the exhibition itself. It holds at once the aspects that fuse, reunite, and then recombine the concept of the readymade. The Louis Vuitton project brings to life a wonderful new world."

The Louis Vuitton store at the Brooklyn Museum will be located in a 550-square-foot gallery within the retrospective on the fifth floor of the Morris A. and Meyer Schapiro Wing for the duration of the exhibition. Louis Vuitton has fully underwritten the construction of the store and will be responsible for its staffing and operation. A selection of Monogram Multicolor bags and small leather goods will be available for sale for the duration of the © MURAKAMI exhibition. Styles for sale include the Alma, Speedy, Ursula, Beverly, Rita, Eugénie, and Alexandra. Just as the MOCA store presented a number of limited-edition Monogram canvasses revisited by Takashi Murakami, the Brooklyn store will also offer a new version of these "Editioned Canvasses," signed by the artist and sold as exclusive art products. The new version, called Monogramouflage, is an exciting new pattern created by Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton, and gives viewers a glimpse of a bright new product line that will be launched at the Brooklyn Museum Louis Vuitton store on June 1 before being sold in selected Louis Vuitton stores worldwide. As the store may generate revenues, part of them will be donated to the Federal Enforcement Homeland Security Foundation.

Brooklyn Museum Director Arnold L. Lehman comments, "We are delighted that Louis Vuitton will participate in the exhibition. The groundbreaking inclusion of its store within the context of the retrospective has created a new paradigm in its exemplification of Takashi Murakami's artistic process that includes low-cost unlimited-edition consumer products, as well as luxury goods designed for Louis Vuitton."

Louis Vuitton's first collaboration with Takashi Murakami was the 2003 spring/summer collection, after Artistic Director Marc Jacobs had seen his exhibition at the Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris. Takashi Murakami gave color and mischief to the Louis Vuitton Monogram by re-creating it in 33 colors on a black or white background. The collaboration between the two creative talents also spawned the Monogram Cherry Blossom line later that year, and the Monogram Cerise pattern in 2005.

"Our collaboration has produced a lot of works, and has been a huge influence and inspiration to many It has been and continues to be a monumental marriage of art & commerce. The ultimate cross-over, one for both the fashion and art history books" comments Marc Jacobs, Artistic Director of Louis Vuitton.

In addition to the operation of the Louis Vuitton store within the exhibition, Louis Vuitton will also generously host the Brooklyn Ball on April 3, 2008. Special creations by Takashi Murakami for Louis Vuitton will be auctioned during the gala dinner for donation to the Brooklyn Museum.

"This is an exciting interrelation between the worlds of art and luxury in a vibrant and dynamic fashion," said Yves Carcelle, Chairman and CEO of Louis Vuitton, in regards to the © MURAKAMI exhibition. "Louis Vuitton is a brand which has brought innovation to tradition for more than 150 years. This energy to continuously create and to renovate, whilst maintaining and honoring the history and identity of the brand, has inspired many artists, who have, in turn, inspired Louis Vuitton. Today, the House is strongly committed to the protection of artists' and designers' creativity, and has full respect for creation in all its forms."

© MURAKAMI, the most comprehensive retrospective to date of the work of internationally acclaimed Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, where it was on view from October 29, 2007 to February 11, 2008. Following the Brooklyn presentation, which will be the only other United States venue to house the retrospective, © MURAKAMI will travel to the Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (October 27, 2008-January 4, 2009) and the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao (February-May 2009).

Born in Tokyo in 1962, Murakami is one of the most influential and acclaimed artists to emerge from Asia in the late twentieth century, creating a wide body of work that consciously bridges fine art, design, animation, fashion, and popular culture. Navigating between Japanese and American cultures, Takashi Murakami blends the bright palette of pop, the flatness of anime, and the ominous dreams of surrealism. Drawing upon Japan's traditional lack of hierarchical distinction between fine art and craft, he has moved toward creating a new model where synergies between fine art and pop culture merge to create a new art form.

The exhibition explores the self-reflexive nature of Murakami's oeuvre by focusing on earlier work produced between 1991 and 2000 in which the artist attempts to explore his own reality through an investigation of branding and identity, as well as on self-portraiture created since 2000.

In 1993, in a continuing project to brand his own identity, Murakami created an alter ego named DOB. As the complexities of Murakami's examination of his own identity evolved, so did DOB, in painting and inflatable form, morphing from a strand of DNA to a balloon-like form with innocent eyes to a monster with jagged fangs.

Among the works included in this large-scale survey tracing the trajectory of Murakami's artistic development are many of his acclaimed sculpture figures including the 23-foot-high Tongari-kun (2003-2004); Miss ko2 (1997), a long-legged waitress who has become one of the artist's signature characters; Hiropon (1997), a Japanese girl jumping a rope created by milk squirting from her gargantuan breasts; DOB in the Strange Forest (1999), in which a benign and innocent DOB figure encounters a group of menacing mushrooms; and Second Mission Project ko2 (2007), reprising the Miss ko2 character, now transformed into an android. Among the paintings on view will be Tan Tan Bo (2001), as well as Tan Tan Bo Puking- a.k.a Gero Tan (2002), in which DOB has evolved into a gigantic, sharp-toothed monster, with unknown substances oozing from his mouth; Flower Ball (3D) (2002), a decorative work comprising of dozens of Murakami's famous flowers; and Superflat Jellyfish Eyes 1 and 2 (2003).

The Brooklyn presentation is coordinated by Deputy Director for Art Charles Desmarais and Associate Curator of Exhibitions Tumelo Mosaka. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue co-published by Rizzoli International Publications, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Kaikai Kiki. © MURAKAMI is organized by The Museum of Contemporary

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