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Perhaps the most famous Japanese artist of his time, Takashi Murakami has taken the art world by storm since he first gained recognition in the '90’s.

In fact, the art world's not the only sphere in which he dominates. In 2008 Murakami was named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People," and was the only visual artist included.

Whether you agree with it or not, the man sure has figured out how to brand and market himself impeccably, which is probably why he is commonly compared to Andy Warhol. Like Warhol, Murakami has his own factory with almost 200 technicians who produce his artwork for him. Murakami dubbed this shrine of mechanical art production the Hiropon Factory, which turns out is slang for crystal meth. While some may be surprised to hear that Murakami might dabble with drugs, I always did have a sneaking suspicion that he didn’t repeatedly paint mushrooms to teach the world about the health benefits of vitamin B and D packed fungi.

While Murakami does draw on the fantastical side of life, his work spans other topics ranging from war to sex. Not one to shy away from bodily fluids, he even sculpts semen and breast milk from time to time. Sex sells right? Well it sure works for Murakami, with some of his artworks bringing in upwards of $16 million.

When he's not gallivanting between Japan and New York selling some of the most expensive art on the market, he can be found collaborating with his homies, like Kanye West and Marc Jacobs. His work designing Kanye’s Graduation album cover and Louis Vitton handbags with Marc Jacobs is most definitely why Murakami is the master of blurring the lines between high, low, and commercial art. 

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami (村上 隆, Murakami Takashi, born February 1, 1962) is a Japanese contemporary artist. He works in fine arts (such as painting and sculpture) as well as commercial media (such as fashion, merchandise, and animation) and is known for blurring the line between high and low arts. His influential work draws from the aesthetic characteristics of the Japanese artistic tradition and the nature of postwar Japanese culture. He is credited for designing the album cover for Kanye West's third studio album Graduation.

Murakami is the founder and President of Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd., through which he manages several younger artists. He was the founder and organizer of the biannual art fair Geisai.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Takashi Murakami