Takashi Murakami, Oval Buddha, 2007–10. Bronze and gold leaf, 568 x 312 x 319 cm.

Takashi Murakami



Once again the battle to save classical French culture from the ugly claws of globalization has been making headlines in France. This time around it was provocateur-artist Takashi Murakami who raised the hackles of Prince Sixte-Henri de Bourbon-Parme, a descendent of Louis XIV, and members of the Coordination de la Défense de Versailles, an organization formed to prevent Jeff Koons from exhibiting at the palace in 2008. Condemning Murakami’s “veritable ‘murder’ of our heritage, our artistic identity, and our most sacred culture,” de Bourbon-Parme claimed that the artist’s work disrespects the glory of Versailles: “There are puppets in that exhibition that are frankly grotesque.” Murakami’s exhibition was not derailed, but the “powers that be” did capitulate ever so slightly. The more titillating “body fluid” sculptures, deemed too “explosive” to show, were not on view. …see the entire review in the print version of March’s Sculpture magazine.