Entertainment & Arts

Takashi Murakami coming to Ibiza, thanks to Guy Laliberte


Artist Takashi Murakami at his Geffen MOCA exhibition in downtown Los Angeles in October 2007.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

The psychedelic pop art of Takashi Murakami is coming to the Spanish island of Ibiza this summer thanks in large part to one of the artist’s biggest fans -- Guy Laliberté, the billionaire co-founder of Cirque du Soleil.

Murakami’s work -- known for its bright colors and playful appropriation of manga and anime imagery -- is scheduled to go on display at four different venues on Ibiza starting June 24 in a project organized by the Los Angeles-based Blum & Poe gallery, which represents the artist.

The exhibition will coincide with Ibiza’s busy summer season that has traditionally drawn thousands of well-heeled tourists to the island’s party scene.

The idea for the project came from Laliberté, who has collected Murakami’s work, according to Michael Smoler of Blum & Poe. 


“Guy is a client of ours and he has been living on Ibiza -- he has a home there. He’s been trying to bring culture to the island for years now,” said Smoler in an interview on Monday.

Blum & Poe said that the exhibition will include a display at Art Projects Ibiza, a 3,000-square-foot space, as well as Lune Rouge Ibiza, an art venue that in the past has been dedicated to Laliberté's collection.

In addition, Murakami’s art will be on view at the Ibiza Gran Hotel and Heart Ibiza, a new restaurant and cultural venue. The displays are scheduled to run through Sept. 26. 

Laliberté has been active in Heart Ibiza, including helping to co-curate its cultural offerings, which have been comprised of music and visual art.


Blum & Poe said that its portion of the show will be seen at Art Projects Ibiza and will feature some of Murakami’s recent works, including abstract Korin paintings -- his post-modern take on the work of Japanese artist Ogata Korin -- as well as sculpture and the artist’s signature flower ball paintings.  

Murakami’s 2013 large-scale painting “69 Arhats Beneath the Bodi Tree,” created as a response to the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, will be on view at Lune Rouge. There will also be screenings of the artist’s feature movie “Jellyfish Eyes.”

The whole project “is an experiment. We don’t know what the result will be,” said Smoler of Blum & Poe.

He said Murakami is actively working on the show and is expected to be on the island around the time of the opening.

Laliberté made headlines last month with the sale of a majority stake in Cirque du Soleil to the global private equity firm TPG. Cirque has also sold stakes to Fosun, a Chinese investment group, and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, a Canadian pension fund. 

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT