The city was painted in Technicolor with the arrival of the highly anticipated exhibit Takashi Murakami:  “The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg“.  

It’s been over a decade since Murakami’s works have received their own solo exhibition in North America. And what better place to house his works than the Museum of Contemporary Art.

In addition to receiving the honor of presenting the exhibit, the museum was also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

With a highly coveted exhibit that is sure to draw millions and a 50th Birthday, this calls for an equally extravagant party.

As a long time fan of Murakami during his Louis Vuitton and Kanye West days, this event was marked on my calendar for a very long time. I vowed to make June 3rd 2017, the day of Takashi Murakami.


The Social Event of the Year

On June 3rd 2017, Museum of Contemporary Art’s ArtEdge Gala was the social event on everyone’s social calendar. The guests list included notable names such as Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Desirée Rogers, Josh & Ikram Goldman, Theaster Gates and Kerry James Marshall. You get the point. This was the place to be.

For this year’s gala, Complex Con collaborated with the museum. Founder of Complex Marc Ecko was also in attendance to the fete.

Upon arrival, Takashi Murakami personal greeted guests.  And in true Takashi Murakami fashion he had a smile plastered on his face with his famed octopus sitting on his head.

Long time Murakami collaborator Pharrell served as musical curator for the evening and enlisted the lovely Janelle Monae to add to the Murakami experience.

With a guest list out of this world, a world-famous artist and a 50th birthday party, you bet I was not going to miss what would be the party of the year.

The Takashi Murakami Experience

One by one, Chicago’s finest entered the venue donning their favorite Takashi Murakami inspired ensembles. The dress code for the evening, was definitely young, wild and free.

While mixing and mingling with one another, colorful party goers indulged in Takashi Murakami inspired bites. Decadent sushi-rolls and custom guests created cakes were a few of the items on the gastronomic menu.

Photo Credit: Mysi Anne Grubbe for Jeremy Lawson Photography

They enjoyed their multi-course meal in a tent where the artwork of Murakami hung above them.

Meeting The Octopus Eats its Own Leg

A part of the VIP evening included an exclusive preview of the exhibit. The exhibition explores the works of Takashi from his early years to later in life.

Fans of Murakami are able to get up close and personal with some of Murakami’s famed creations. For the Kanye West fans, the exhibit features the famed Kanye Bear along the Graduation era artwork designed by Murakami.

The exhibit also features a rare never before seen work that will definitely draw millions to Chicago.

With large sculptures, and paintings that span entire walls this is definitely an exhibit that will have everyone adding MCA to the Summer bucket list.

One thing is for sure, MCA may become the most Instagrammed place with the arrival of this exhibit.

And then There Was Janelle

While guests were wrapped in color for the evening, Janelle Monae introduced us to her world of black and white. The singer and now Oscar winner performed a medley of her greatest hits.

My personal favorite Electric Lady is what really had me in the groove. The highlight performance of the evening was when Janelle Monae produced a live painting during her song Mushrooms & Roses. At the end of the song, she teased the audience by hovering her painting over the crowd. Eventually, she gave her painting to one very lucky fan.

The evening concludes with a fitting tribute to one of the greatest artists of all time; Prince. Janelle performed her own spirited rendition of the classic Let’s Go Crazy.

Going Crazy for Murakami

We all got a little crazy that night for Takashi Murakami. Which is fitting for a man who often times colored outside of the lines and thought out of the box.

The fact that this exhibit is calling Chicago home is a huge thing for this city and I encourage everyone to check it out.


I dare you to not be even slightly inspired. Takashi Murakami: The Octopus Eats its Own Leg is on view now till September 24th.