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
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).
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.