Murakami’s joyous figurines cause frowns in Versailles

The ultimate Happy Exhibition has just begun. Takashi Murakami (born in Tokyo in 1962), the third living artist of our era to be invited to show his work in the luxurious halls and chambers of the palace of Versailles, is displaying his Manga inspired, brightly colored neo-pop sculptures until December 12th, 2010. Unsurprisingly, many people are frowning about it. As good ol’ Jean Paul Sartre said back in 1940, “So rare is the happy man nowadays that he must explain his sentiment: he talks about color to the blind.”

Indeed, in Versailles today bright colors, twirly rococo and shiny surfaces spell s-o-p-h-i-s-t-i-c-a-t-i-o-n and “h-e-r-i-t-a-g-e” as long as it was made three or four hundred years ago. But god forbid any glitzy material from the new millenium is displayed and it’s immediately trashed as “outrageously-commercial-totally-vacuous-market-driven-kitsch”.

Maybe. Who am I to say?

But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned so far is that you gotta scratch the surface … to get to the smell.
(Ha ha, scratch ‘n sniff, get it?)


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