Like his American counter-part, Jeff Koons in 2008, Takashi Murakami has mounted an exhibition of his opulent, pop-psychedelia in the Château de Versailles in France. And in some ways it's befitting for the two Art stars to exhibit here. Like the French Aristocracy before them, both Koons and Murakami have built their empires on the backs of the lowly peasant workers, exploiting their skills, resources, conspiring with other aristocrats, and manipulating markets. And Murakami's work, unlike Koons' more minimalist sculpture, does meet the copious extravagance of Versailles with its own exaggerated theatricality. But the accord ends there. The architecture and frescoes of Versailles, even with their Rococo superficiality, display a relative sea of content and gravitas compared with Murakami.
In fact, I can only glean a single message actually conveyed by the work itself, glistening beneath the surface of the tepid kiddie-pool that is Murakami's exhibition:
Let them eat cake.