Takashi Murakami’s ‘Is This the Dream?’

Takashi Murakami is unquestionably the most famous artist in the world of Japanese contemporary art. He owes much of his success to hard work and a lack of sleep. “If I relax for more than six hours, I feel like I’m being extremely lazy and I have to get back to work. I can’t really relax,” he told us. The relentless output of new works, sculptures, and exhibitions crafted by himself and his global team of 300 Kaikai Kiki Gallery assistants is driven by one simple dread: “I fear that people will get bored of me,” he said.

We shadowed Murakami for three consecutive days prior to his massive “HEADS⟷HEADS” exhibition at New York City’s Galerie Perrotin. From observing the unreal synchronization of workers at his L.I.C. studio to encountering crazed fans at his meet-and-greet for the Uniqlo UT Doraemon collaboration, we offer viewers a rare look at the artist responsible for the limelight.

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