Is there a better self-marketer than Takashi Murakami? The artist’s grandest gesture to date is probably his appearance—smiling and waving from his float, and wearing a flower costume—at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in New York in 2010. At Basel, he’s being a bit stealthier—but he certainly has people talking. A group of mysterious geishas has been walking around the fair during the VIP preview today. It turns out they are part of Murakami’s entourage, having traveled from Japan to celebrate his new painting series—some are on view at Perrotin’s booth—and upcoming exhibitions at Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum (“The 500 Arhats” in the fall) and the Yokohama Museum of Art (in January, the intriguing sounding “Takashi Murakami’s Superflat Collection: From Soga Shohaku and Kitaoji Rosanjin to Anselm Kiefer”). And if that wasn’t enough, certain fair goers could be seen eating cherry Frisk candies from a little tin emblazoned with an unmistakable Murakami design. On the back are the dates of the two upcoming shows. Meanwhile, Murakami himself was spotted among the VIP collectors making their way into the fair this morning. Perrotin is throwing a party tonight, and apparently there are some Murakami surprises yet to come. Who could guess what they’ll be?
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