Takashi Murakami Ego Trip of the Day


Here’s the web page for the new iPod nano. There’s a couple of very hard to make out albums on the left, followed by seven recognizable ones. What’s special about the one I’ve pointed to? It’s the only one which requires a copyright declaration lower down on the page, just for the cover art:

Kanye West Graduation album art ß© 2007 Takashi Murakami/Kaikai Kiki Co., Ltd./Kanye West/Mascotte Holdings, LLC. All rights reserved.

Murakami is well known for being extremely tight-fisted with his copyrights: as far as I know he never sells them along with his paintings, and he has been known to deny reproduction rights even to the owner of the work in question.

If you want to see Murakami’s video for Kanye’s Good Morning, you can pay $1.49 for it at iTunes: Murakami’s lawyers are most assiduous about ensuring it never stays up on YouTube for long. I guess that’s what happens when you commission an art-world megastar to make your video for you: you get a much buzzed-about video, but one which people find incredibly difficult to actually find and watch.

I do wonder how Kanye West and Takashi Murakami stack up, in terms of size of ego, net worth, that kind of thing. Are artists really up there with rock stars these days?

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