Renowned contemporary artist Takashi Murakami has stepped into the gaming world through a limited-edition merchandise collaboration with FaZe Clan, the leading esports and entertainment organization based in Los Angeles.
Within the collection, Murakami’s signature flower motifs take over esports jerseys and a selection of large and small mousepads in predominantly red and blue colorways. The jersey silhouette boasts the gaming organization’s iconography on the front upper right quadrant, while spelling out the brand’s name above the number “10” on the back in typical jersey lettering. The mousepads, which arrive in either a smaller square shape or an extended rectangular construction, front the same pattern with minimal co-branding elements.
FaZe Clan, which enlists a backbone of gamers in their early-to-late 20s, operates with an entirely different perspective than 59-year-old Murakami. In regard to the cross-generational collaboration, Murakami compares their pairing to that of Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat, who worked on a slew of collaborative paintings in the 1980s.
“When I was a university student, Warhol made paintings in collaboration with Basquiat and it was much talked about,” he explained in a statement. “For Warhol, who was past 50, to collaborate with Basquiat, the young superstar, seemed to me as though the former was sucking up to the youth, and I looked on feeling a bit sorry for him. Then, they both passed away. A little over a decade later, the once-incongruous collaborative paintings, which had seemed to feature the generational divide as the sales point, started to look very fresh, like an embodiment of the situation of their time.”
“I must now be older than Warhol then, and I suspect the members of FaZe Clan are younger than Basquiat was,” he continued. “Some people may think our pairing rather incongruous, but in 30 years’ time, the meaning of this collaboration within art historical context will perhaps be reviewed and reassessed. And so, while I felt a bit shy about doing a collaboration with such young people, I went along with their request, trusting in the freshness of the landscape the future audience will see in this project.”
The FaZe Clan x Takashi Murakami collection will be available to shop on the NTWRK app on Monday, June 28 at 12 p.m PDT. Prices range from $50 USD to $100 USD.
Elsewhere in gaming, Nintendo has finally responded to rumors surrounding a new Switch.
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