I went to The Broad for the first time not too long ago. It was my first chance to see Takashi Murakami’s work up close and I was really struck by how great it is in person.The quality is unreal. As a creator, it kind of pissed me off, so I went home to do a ton of research on his technique. At some point I came across this old 2009 quote from a Guardian interview:
One of the visual qualities we look for in the work of the artists we employ at Kaikai Kiki is “madness”. Gauguin, Van Gogh, Duchamp, Warhol – they all possessed an imagination that exuded madness. I myself have trained everyday in an effort to get close to this madness, and the training itself probably looks like a form of insanity.
– Takashi Murakami
“I myself have trained everyday in an effort to get close to this madness” is probably the most badass quote I’ve ever read.
I think madness is the main reason I had to become an artist. I feel like I become a little more mad each year, and also more capable of channeling the madness into something of value. It just so happens that artistic vision is really the only type of value that actually increases with madness. Therefore, I had to become an artist 🙂