Sunday, November 14, 2010

Versailles- Murakami at Versailles

“For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of. Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.”

Takashi Murakami

How intriguing it was to see the modern work of Murakami along side the classical works of the Versailles collection. What a coup for an artist to have his work shown at Versailles!! I found it invigorating and exciting to see resin 21st century Japanese cartoon-like sculpture among the traditional sculptures. At first it was jarring, but charming. It piqued my interest and made me wonder why Murakami put his sculptures where he did. His were ornate, multi-colored and very decorative as were many of the older sculptures found in the original collection. This was not my first visit to Versailles, but it was my most interesting!!

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