FaZe Clan has announced that its next collection is a collaboration with Japanese artist Takashi Murakami. Known for mixing fine art and commercial art, Murakami likened the partnership to Warhol and Basquiat.
If you don’t know Murakami by name, you probably know him by art. His 2007 cover art for Kanye West’s “Graduation” album is considered by many to be a pivotal moment in the evolution of hip hop culture. And further afield, its colorful flowers have felt ubiquitous in pop culture – adorning walls like neon signs and galleries at the Palace of Versailles in France.
While FaZe Clan’s past collaborations have focused on sculptures with Bearbrick and clothing with Xbox, the Murakami partnership is a step in an intriguing direction. Fans seem to be delighted with it, but even Murakami has expressed some uncertainty.
In a statement shared by FaZe, the 59-year-old artist mentioned unease over the age gap between him and FaZe’s ownership and audience. Drawing parallels with Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, he also expressed serious excitement.
Takashi Murakami’s FaZe Clan: Coming soon. pic.twitter.com/Q0XfkLZw9W
– FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) June 21, 2021
Announcing the partnership, Murakami warned he was initially skeptical. When he saw an older Warhol working with Basquiat in the ’80s, he feared that Warhol would “suck the young.” “
As such, Murakami himself was unsure of working with FaZe, noting that he “felt a bit embarrassed about collaborating with such young people.”
But given the longevity of the partnership between Warhol and Basquiat, the Japanese artist is excited about the prospect of this collaboration. While that might sound “incongruous” now, he thinks it might take a different level of appreciation 30 years from now.
Murakami is best known for standing between fine art and pop culture. FaZe is best known for making the connection between gaming and pop culture. It’s a large diagram of Venn, to say the least, but fans are already deeply invested in what might happen to this collaboration.
Who knows, maybe Murakami’s flower will just have red and black petals and get slapped on a t-shirt. It will likely sell well and end up in reseller markets like StockX.
But, given Murakami’s insistence on historical reassessment, one has to imagine that he intends this collaboration to be more than a re-coloring.