How Much is Too Much? Murakami's Prices

Yesterday, Bloomberg News carried an interview with Takashi Murakami in which the artist told the news service that he considered the prices at his current exhibition at Gagosian Gallery in London to be too expensive. Here is the relevant part of the interview:

Still, Murakami is baffled by what his art costs today. He says he discussed prices with dealer Larry Gagosian before the show, and hearing the figures, told Gagosian that they were “a little bit expensive.” According to Murakami, Gagosian replied, “No, this is big, this is big!”

The Bloomberg article goes on to directly quote Mr. Murakami to the effect that he finds his current prices too high:

Does he think he’s too expensive? “I think so, yes, honestly, yes,” Murakami says.

The only problem is, we don’t know what those prices are. (The only price Bloomberg cites is for Murakami’s 1998 sculpture My Lonesome Cowboy, which sold for $15.2 million at Sotheby’s in New York in May 2008.)  The Observer understands from a source close to the gallery that the prices for the artworks in Mr. Murakami’s current exhibition range from $1.8 million  to $3.5 million. (The Gagosian Gallery does not comment on prices.)

The exhibition is comprised of triptych paintings that reference the Japanese painter Kuroda Seiki, as well as larger-than-life-size figurative sculptures created with manga artist Seiji Matsuyama and figurine sculptor BOME, including the huge-breasted “3-Meter Girl.”

With due respect to Mr. Murakami, by the standards of today’s once again booming art market, his prices do not seem that expensive.

Correction: July 13: The amount above originally appeared in pounds. It has been corrected to $1.8 million  to $3.5 million.

  How Much is Too Much? Murakami's Prices