Superflat’s super come back

This year pop art has slowly crept back into the mainstream in its various forms. You may remember most obviously in Drake’s somewhat controversial album art, and less obviously in other areas. Like most trends today, you can find the Superflat art movement surfacing around TikTok. Artists such as Aya Takano and Yoshitomo Nara have been rediscovered by Gen Z and proven to be very popular.

But what actually is Superflat art? The term refers to a specific style of post-modern art created by the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami (you may know him from various collaborations with Louis Vuitton, being endorsed by Billie Eilish, and the album cover design of kids see ghosts by Kanye West), like pop art, Superflat art is basically what it says on the tin – flat, it is two dimensional and often brightly coloured.

Superflat is considered an interesting movement as it blurs the lines between commercial and fine art, Aya Takano has collaborated with the likes of Issey Miyake and is a permanent fixture in art galleries such as Tokyo’s Kaikai Kiki, yet her works are easily consumable enough to be tattooed. This year the artist also endeavoured on another collab, this time with Japanese apparel brand Kiru made which features Takano’s works in a different format to the 2004 Issey Miyake collection. This time it’s in the form of patch style embellishment. Perhaps this is a way to make the Superflat movement even more consumable for the mainstream as well as to profit from the sudden spike in interest from Gen Z.

Where the movement will go next is unknown, however, it poses a question into the future of art commercialisation. Will artworks lose their integrity if made into such easily consumable forms? And, will other art movements reap the benefits of TikTok in the near future?

Rosa Macvicar