Admittedly, I am one of the last to have seen the magnificent Murakami Versailles exhibit. Indeed it ends tomorrow (Sunday, December 12th), and let it be known that this was certainly not my first attempt to see it; though it was the only successful one (why can’t every museum be open until midnight?). Any Parisians (or visitors) who have yet to see it, best get there ASAP.
A total of 22 works of art (and 11 pieces produced specifically for the exhibit) range from sculptures to paintings and even carpeting, shown in the King Louis XIV apartments and the Hall of Mirrors. While the naysayers argue that Murakami’s pop art takes away from the grand Château experience, I think that part of what makes the exhibit so incredible is the ironic fact that it features perhaps the greatest pop artist of our time set to such a magnificant baroque setting. For me, walking down Hall of Mirrors, seeing a Murakami sculpture down in the garden and then coming upon the Flower Matango sculpture was the most powerful take-away from the exhibit.
Overall I LOVED Murakami Versailles, though I did leave with one question. Recent Murakami exhibits like the retrospective at MOCA and the Brooklyn Museum both featured Louis Vuitton pop-up shops featuring products from the famed Louis Vuitton and Murakami collaboration. Why, in the capital of LV, would a collaboration (during such a grand exhibition) be ignored? Perhaps the space for a temporary pop-up shop was limited inside Versailles, but I would have loved to see some sort of tie-in between LV and the Murakami exhibit.. perhaps in the LV flagship on the Champs-Élysées.
However, perhaps most fitting to sum up the exhibit is Takashi Murakami’s own words, “I am the cheshire cat that welcomes Alice In Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.”