Tongari-Kun (Mister Pointy); Photo: Florian Kleinefenn – Salon d’Hercule / Château de Versailles

This might be one of my favorite exhibitions of the year: Takashi Murakami at the Château de Versailles in France. The juxtaposition between Murakami’s colorful, trippy cartoon world and the traditional, rococo palace surroundings is remarkable.

Kaikai Kiki; Photo: Gilles Truyens © EPV

Oval Buddha Silver; Photo: Gilles Truyens © EPV

Kawaii – Vacances et Untitled; Photo: Gilles Truyens © EPV

Flower Matango; Left Photo: Gilles Truyens © EPV/Right Photo: Florian Kleinefenn – Galerie des Glaces / Château de Versailles

From the artist:

For a Japanese like me, the Château de Versailles is one of the greatest symbols of Western history. It is the emblem of an ambition for elegance, sophistication and art that most of us can only dream of.
Of course, we are aware that the spark that set fire to the powder of the Revolution came directly from the centre of the building.

But, in many respects, everything is transmitted to us as a fantastic tale coming from a very distant kingdom. Just as French people can find it hard to recreate in their minds an accurate image of the Samurai period, the history of this palace has become diminished for us in reality.

So it is probable that the Versailles of my imagination corresponds to an exaggeration and a transformation in my mind so that it has become a kind of completely separate and unreal world. That is what I have tried to depict in this exhibition.

I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Château.

With a broad smile I invite you all to discover the wonderland of Versailles.

What: Murakami Versailles
When: September 14, 2010 – December 12, 2010
Château de Versailles