Sushi in the Desert: Takashi Murakami Brings His ‘Ego’ to Qatar

It was a long 15-hour flight to Doha, Qatar, to see Japanese artist Takashi Murakami’s latest mega show. Why would I bother flying all the way around the world to see paintings I’ve mostly seen already? Perhaps because, according to the BBC, Qatar has quietly invested over $1.25 billion in art over the past five years—in fact, I’d bet it’s double that—and also because they are part of what’s keeping this crazy art market buoyant. And what about the facts that Qatar reportedly bought a painting (not mine!) from Cezanne’s “Card Players” series for $250 million, and is rumored to be the buyer of auction cover lots from Rothkos to Lichtensteins, Warhols and beyond? I also wanted to visit my favorite Murakami painting, Tan Tan Bo Puking, a.k.a. Gero Tan, and see how it compared to his newest one, a 300-foot long masterwork dubbed Arhat. Read More