Western Painting – Superflat – A Modern Age Liberal Creative Edge

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Superflat – The Concept & History
Superflat is a form of Contemporary Art that sets the stage for progressive experimentation in the two-dimensional animation art. Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (born 1963) founded this Western Painting style during the 1980s.

The Correlations
Superflat has its roots in two genres – Manga (a form of Japanese print cartoons of the 20th century) and Anime (Japanese animation films). However, it does not limit itself to the domain of painting only, thus giving room to sculpturing, printing, and photography too. Although, Murakami had his education in traditional art forms, he focused and promoted the youthful vibrancy of the modern-day Japan. His signature art, Superflat, brings out a union of the real and the fantastical, through its innovative subjects and novel treatments. This art form took-off more strongly in the US, with its similarly titled exhibitions, "Superflat," organized across the country in 2001.

The Details
The two-dimensional representations of Superflat Art involve the technique of creating the thematic patterns of innovative colors and designs, with loosely defined borders. The inspiration is derived from diverse sources, like Japanese statuettes and scrolls from 17th, 18th, & 19th century, traditional woodblock prints, landscape paintings, fashion, videos, sculptures, and animation series such as 'Thomas the Tank Engine.'

The Artists
Some of the lead names associated with Superflat are Chiho Aoshima, Tatsuyuki Tanaka, Aya Takano, Koji Morimoto, Mahomi Kunikata, Hitoshi Tomizawa, Hitoshi Tomizawa, and Yoshitomo Nara.

The underlying themes of Superflat works are often unearthly and magical, sometimes totally disjoined from the grind of the real life. They often signify "… leveling of high culture and subculture, the dissolving of borders between genres," in the words of art critic Hiroki Azuma. For instance, Yoshitomo Nara blended childlike imageries with voluptuous features and placed them in erotic settings. Various other Superflat artists have mingled the 'kawaii,' a Japanese word for cute images with adult sensuality and violence. These painters also use hybrid human figures for the portrayal of such themes. Murakami's remarkable series of unconventional 'eyeball' imagery helped this art in making inroads in the realms of popular choice and common use. Some of the most popular 'eyeball' pieces are 'Eye Ball Pink,' 'Hairy Eyeball,' 'Jellyfish Eyes – Black 4,' and 'Eyeball Mosaic.' Similarly, Groovision, a graphic design company based in Japan, has come up with its design character, 'chappie' that finds place on various items, including fashion wear. 'Chappie' appears in varying dresses, accessories, and hairstyles, yet with same facial features and expressions.

Despite digressing, strongly, from the traditional Japanese aesthetics in art, Superflat commands great attention from the contemporary art-lovers.

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Source by Annette Labedzki

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