Furry Friends

Harper's Bazaar Stars Takashi Murakami's Monsters

The Superflat artist's fantastical creatures pose alongside model Angela Lindvall for Harper's Bazaar's December/January issue.

Jason Schmidt for Harper’s BAZAAR

For its latest issue, Harper’s Bazaar teamed up with Superflat artist Takashi Murakami. Murakami’s fantastical monsters—from his film Jellyfish Eyes—modeled alongside model Angela Lindvall for a shoot in Los Angeles. The group—which featured "8 Eyes," who resembles a defalted inner-tube, a Strawberry Shortcake-style "Kurage-Bo," and a Where-The-Wild-Things-Are-Meets-Furby "Luxor"—ordered In-and-Out burgers, sampled snow cones, and relaxed poolside at The Standard. All in a day’s work for Murakami, who makes a cameo appearance at the fast-food hot spot (he ordered the cheeseburger and fries, his favorite).

Murakami has already reached cult status in his native Japan with his anime, manga, and childhood imagination-inspired portfolio of paintings, cartoons, and sculptures. In 2002, Marc Jacobs commissioned Murakami to design a line of handbags for Louis Vuitton, and in 2007, he created the cover art for Kanye West’s Graduation album.

In April, Murakami released his film Jellyfish Eyes, inspired by “a manga called GeGeGe no Kitaro” from the 1960s. Based on a Japanese folklore about a spirit-monster who lived in a graveyard, the manga, said Murakami, “accidentally formed the basis for the rest of [his] life.” Out of all the characters Murakami has created, he refers to Oval, a dejected outcast summoned to earth by scientists against his will, as his favorite because “basically he is my self-portrait.”

Murakami dropped plenty of clues about his future plans in the interview with executive editor Laura Brown, including: "The Jellyfish Eyes Part 2," a dream collaboration with Vans (or Marc Jacobs, if he asked again) and a “sweet comedy [film] about death.” Most ominous were Murakami’s musings on the Big Apple: “It’s about time I stirred things up in New York again, something I haven’t done in a while.” We’re waiting, Murakami.