Takashi Murakami’s NFT art is the best thing we’ve seen this year

NFT pixel art by Takashi Murakami
(Image credit: Photo: Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.)

The new NFT pixel art project by Japanese artist Takashi Murakami is the best we've seen all year, and it's not even finished yet. Murakami is following up his NFT collaboration with RTFKT (pronounced 'artefact,' as you'd expect), the Nike-owned digital collectibles studio, with his own NFT art project. 

Inspired by Nintendo's 1980s game console the NES, Godzilla, manga and more, the Murakami.Flowers project is our new favourite thing. It's colourful, vibrant, clever, and ties into the broader themes of the famous artist's work.

NFTs, or non-fungible tokens, are a way of registering art on the blockchain and giving control of rights and uses to digital artists. If you want to know more we have our guide What are NFTs?, as well as features on NFT marketplaces, NFT crypto and NFT games to help you get up to speed.

Murakami's new NFT project, called Murakami.Flowers, embraces the Japanese art tradition of Superflat, the post-war aesthetic represents 'an anti-pyramidal hierarchy' and has influenced everything from manga, anime and video games. The pixel art flowers that take influence from pop culture are at the heart of the artist's work.

NFT pixel art powers-up

NFT pixel art by Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami's NFT art is inspired by his own art style and Japan's traditon for Superflat art (Image credit: Photo: Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.)

He told Architectural Digest, "Who I am today was formed by my childhood consumption and appreciation of ideas such as Godzilla and kaiju, which were born under the circumstances of a nation that surrendered after two atomic bombs were dropped on it. I have always analysed the culture of the defeated nation."

He adds: "I started painting the flower character in my attempt to combine that context with more traditional Japanese culture, focusing on the traditional theme of natural beauty in Japanese painting: “snow, moon, flower” and “flower, birds, wind, moon."

The purpose of Murakami.Flowers is to connect the traditional art world and the NFT art world with a mix of physical paintings and digital art. Murakami is planning to connect into the metaverse with his 108 Murakami.Flowers NFTs. Even if you're not an NFT fan, you've got to love his metaverse plan (below).

NFT pixel art illustration of the metaverse

The artist is planning a metaverse of content, including video games (Image credit: ©2021 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd. All Rights Reserved.)

The 108 NFTs in the first round of the Murakami.Flowers is just the beginning for Takashi Murakami. He's planning a gallery show for the art this May, but coming later will be a video game, Flower Go Walk, which will be released as a LCD handheld. He's also planning a series of online and digital video games.

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Ian Dean
Editor, Digital Arts & 3D

Ian Dean is Editor, Digital Arts & 3D at Creativebloq, and the former editor of many leading magazines. These titles included ImagineFX, 3D World and leading video game title Official PlayStation Magazine. In his early career he wrote for music and film magazines including Uncut and SFX. Ian launched Xbox magazine X360 and edited PlayStation World. For Creative Bloq, Ian combines his experiences to bring the latest news on AI, digital art and video game art and tech, and more to Creative Bloq, and in his spare time he doodles in Procreate, ArtRage, and Rebelle while finding time to play Xbox and PS5. He's also a keen Cricut user and laser cutter fan, and is currently crafting on Glowforge and xTools M1.