Cindy Lisica

Completed PhD - Beyond Consumption: The Art, Merchandise and Global Impact of Takashi Murakami and a Superflat Generation


Cindy Lisica

Self-Portrait, 2005

Courtesy and © the artist

My research examines Superflat art and theory, conceived by Takashi Murakami (b. Tokyo, 1962), as a model for cross-cultural exchange via artists Chiho Aoshima, Takashi Murakami and Aya Takano. By merging Japanese and Western cultural concepts, the synthesis of ideas and layering of identities have produced a new form of hybrid and hyper Pop art. This investigation links Superflat to the work of American Pop and neo-Pop artists Andy Warhol and Jeff Koons and explores how Superflat art functions within and contributes to the already distorted area between parallel structures, such as high and low, art and commerce, or East and West.

When peeling back the layers of Superflat, there is a rich, beautiful and violent history. The flatness in Superflat is a multi-dimensional concept, and the anime and manga-influenced work results from a post-defeat culture of fantasy that is both unique to contemporary Japan and hugely successful in the international art market. From the blockbuster group exhibition, Superflat, curated by Murakami, which debuted in 2001 at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and included all three artists, to the 2007-2009 ©MURAKAMI retrospective traveling from Los Angeles to Brooklyn then Frankfurt to Bilbao, Superflat exemplifies the fusions of art and fashion, tradition and technology, capturing a new aesthetic in the continuing age of globalization and showing the way to unprecedented directions in contemporary art.

Cindy Lisica has presented her research at The Brooklyn Museum of Art, The University of Helsinki, The House of World Cultures in Berlin and the 2009 Annual Conference of the College Art Association in Los Angeles. Her curatorial projects include “Imaginary Spaces, Real Places” (2004) and “IVY Paris International” (2006), and she co-authored the catalogue bibliography for “Pop Life” at Tate Modern (2009). She holds an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art from California State University, Long Beach, and a BA in Integrative Art from Penn State University. Her MA dissertation, Multiple Dimensions of the Superflat: The Work of Takashi Murakami, was published by ProQuest in 2006.

Cindy is currently Adjunct Faculty in the Dept of East Asian Languages and Literatures at University of Pittsburgh and Project Archivist at The Andy Warhol Museum.