Japanese mega-artist Takashi Murakami is no stranger to new collaborations with high-profile global brands. Back in 2003, the artist—whose whimsical, childlike abstract flowers and animals are instantly identifiable—partnered with Louis Vuitton to create leather goods festooned with his eye-catching handiwork. Since then, Murakami has worked with a range of equally impressive labels ranging from Uniqlo to Vans.
Murakami’s newest collaborator is Perrier, the French purveyor of carbonated water in iconic green-hued bottles. Starting next month, a limited number of bottles screen-printed with tell-tale Murakami emblems such as flowers with emoji faces, as well as Kaikai and Kiki, his five-eyed pair of anime characters, will roll out for sale worldwide. The Tokyo-born pop artist also produced a short anime clip (shown below) for the brand along with additional Perrier goods, like its flagship range of bottles and cans, which will be available next year.
While the 58-year-old artist clearly isn’t shy to work with commercial partners, he also has personal memories with Perrier, having mistakenly ordered it on his first-ever romantic date more than four decades ago when he actually wanted alcohol. “It is a true opportunity to work with a brand that you actually remember from a moment of your life and that you have memory with,” says Murakami.
Murakami joins a long line of art world icons, including Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí, to have teamed up with Perrier. Murakami added that he felt particularly honored to follow in the footsteps of the former, who created a Perrier lithograph that now sits in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. (An original version of a Cubist-inflected poster that Dalí produced for the brand in 1969 currently retails for almost $20,000.)
The multi-disciplinary Murakami’s oeuvre also includes three-dimensional pieces, yet he found working with the curved surfaces of cans and bottles particularly challenging. From start-to-end, the entire creation process took nearly six months of incessant work. “My flower designs have set proportions so even the slight curves of the bottle [were] quite difficult to correctly adjust [to],” he says. “It was finally set after a lot of trial and error. Matching up the design on the actual product was a difficult process.”
Perrier was drawn to Murakami, a regular Instagram user who has over 2 million followers on that platform, for his ability to make art that is both thoughtful and accessible. “He has…a flair for what is most fresh and most pertinent to the widest audience,” says Paul Cordina, Perrier’s global communications manager.
Meanwhile, Murakami fans who can’t wait to lay their hands on the bottles can also check out “Superflat,” a new exhibition of gigantic Murakami silk screens influenced by the work of the late British digital artist Michael Majerus, which launched in Berlin last week.
Via Architectural Digest