Today I stumbled upon a couple of old names from the Tokyo/New York set of microquirk artists.

Takashi Murakami and Julie Heffernan.

Heffernan is based out of Brooklyn. Her art hearkens to a truly ancient technical approach, but the subject matter is totally psychedelic and digitally influenced.

Murakami's version of mircoquirk is a phenomenon he calls "SuperFlat" and refers to the Japanese's inability to escape their "cute" mentality/appearance because of the nature of their people/outlook/military impotence.

His collaboration with Louis Vuitton last year proved a worldwide fad, but the influence of his work is no less felt.

Heffernan uses a process she calls "image streaming" that she engages in before going to sleep, where she allows the random memories from her subconscious to flood her mind, and once she awakens the following morning, all the material is there to be compiled on-canvas.

Murakami's innumerable influences, both ancient and current Japanese culture/pop-culture have caused his work to surpass symbolism and yet are not altogether surreal. It's all highly calculated post-metaphorical representation, not of an idea, but of a personality.

Similarly, Heffernan's recent works have all been "self-portraiture", though not of a representational kind. More of a "one-with-the-medium" personal approach to conveying an overarching revelation/statement about the relationship between "the self" and a "unified humanity".

Murakami's iconic yet novel Kai Kai & Ki Ki films, with only a vague plot and nihilistic plot devices, such as poop reinvigorating nature, highlight the vast spectrum of positive and negative factors that influence life, human and otherwise. His multimedia approach to SuperFlat makes him a one-man microquirk machine.

Or rather, the fact that he has a factory of people who produce his art, makes him the figurehead of the microquirk revolution.


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