NFT collectibles: Takashi Murakami’s reflections
On Instagram, artist Takashi Murakami shares some thoughts on collecting and the development of the NFT market
Japanese artist Takashi Murakami‘s entry into the NFT world has been hesitant and controversial.
After having launched his first NFTs and having taken them off sale after only 2 weeks, Takashi Murakami left us promising that he would return to the subject once he had studied and understood it thoroughly.
His thoughts came about while attending a room on Clubhouse – the social of voice – hosted by Jehan Chu, co-Founder of Kenetic and Loic Gouzer, founder of Fair Warning attended by many artists and professionals, including the great NFT collector Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile who recently purchased several of Pak’s works from Sotheby’s.
Let’s discover Murakami’s reflections together!
1) The record and art of Beeple
Murakami begins by analyzing the works of Beeple, who rose to fame through record sales at Christie’s. His works, with their sci-fi aesthetics and strong ties to social criticism, seem to have similar popularity on Instagram as Banksy has gained online.
2) Crypto Artists
Speaking of Crypto Artists, Murakami highlights the strong ties to the world of science fiction and the world of cryptocurrencies, on which the NFT market necessarily relies.
The crypto artists have the merit of living in a reality that they themselves have created through the power of the Community, thanks to a network of contacts that support, promote and train each other in the perspective of a protected and prosperous growth.
3) Crypto Punks and CryptoCats
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of thinking about collecting, Murakami points to the CryptoPunks and CryptoCats as exemplifying the desire for ownership inherent in collecting. “CryptoPunks include about 10,000 characters that are traded at very high prices; this is based on a primitive structure similar to that which makes a collector desire rare items,” Murakami says.
4) NFT Collectibles
Collecting art evokes an addiction similar to gambling, says Murakami, who claims to have been addicted to collecting himself.
His collecting story began in 2008, when his sculpture titled “My Lonesome Cowboy” sold at auction for about $15 million at Sotheby’s. That’s when Murakami decided to experience for himself what it’s like to collect art, spending two-thirds of the money he earned, thus risking bankruptcy.
“I think the addictive effect of collecting would be the same in the NFT world. Once a work becomes a collectible in a given world, it ensures dependency in its market.”
The fact that works are sold at very high prices, the strong media resonance of NFTs and the desire for profit on the part of artists and collectors combine to keep people interested in the market and thus its development.
5) NFT AND PANDEMIC
Finally, Murakami justifies the boom in crypto mania as a consequence of the current historical and cultural moment, necessarily influenced by the pandemic.
“When people feel trapped in one way or another because of the pandemic, they may have to depend on something to maintain a normal, healthy mental state.”
To do this today people turn to the internet, games with sci-fi imagery and cryptocurrencies.
“I think this has something in common with the way the film industry started to change with Star Wars, with science fiction, all the way up to today with Marvel and DC Comics movies.”
In Japan, animated movies, manga, video games have a great financial and cultural impact that is now expanding globally by having the NFT world as a sounding board.
In this sense, NFTs reflect the spirit of the times and fit well with the Superflat movement, established by Murakami himself, which analyzes Japanese consumer culture through the lens of manga and anime.
After this declaration of admiration towards Crypto Art that fits well with the prerogatives of the Superflat movement we just have to wait for Murakami’s next step in the NFT universe.