The marvelous chambers of the Chateau de Versailles boast such overwhelming splendors of decor and craft that it might seem the height of folly to pit the works of any one artist against them. But in fact, such a collaboration turns out to be a formula for great success, when the right artist is given the reins. Jeff Koons managed it in 2008, and in 2010, Japanese Pop impresario Takashi Murakami rose to the challenge. In a grand hall sporting a vaulted ceiling thick with paint and gold stands a snowman like construction, stacked spheres of grinning Technicolor flowers that sprouted gleeful tentacles and antennae, while a blonde manga minx in a near-pornographic maid’s costume offers an exuberant gesture of welcome. This is «my Versailles, manga style», Murakami declares, throwing down the gauntlet to those who would preserve Versailles from such glorious and fantastical encounters; «I am the Cheshire cat that welcomes Alice in Wonderland with its diabolic smile, and chatters away as she wanders around the Chateau». Across 125 color plates, this magnificent volume documents the show’s 22 works, which included seven new sculptures never before exhibited.
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