Takashi Murakami to Receive the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon Treatment

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The French might not like Japanese pop artist Takashi Murakami (well, at least a very vocal portion of them don’t), but we Americans apparently like him so much that we’re giving him a spot in arguably our most famous national parade. The NY Times reports that the organizers of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade have commissioned Murakami to turn two of his creatures, Kaikai and Kiki, into massive balloons for this year’s event. This now puts the artist in the rarified club of other artists who have previously seen their work in balloon form, including Jeff Koons and Keith Haring. Here’s a bit:

Kaikai, a childlike character in a rabbit costume, and Kiki, a companion with three eyes and sharp fangs, are examples of Mr. Murakami’s signature superflat style, but their balloon likenesses will be about 40 feet long when completed, and about three stories tall when filled with helium. Since the spring, Macy’s parade studio and Mr. Murakami and his Tokyo-based team have traded notes on two-dimensional sketches that were used to create clay models, which were then further refined and colored before the fabrication of the balloons (now underway).