Marc Jacobs, artistic director of the French design house Louis Vuitton, with whom Murakami has collaborated over several years, prompting discussions in the art world about the boundaries between art and commerce, contributed a short essay on the artist. He writes: "When I first saw Takashi Murakami's work, I smiled and wondered, Where did this explosion come from? Who was responsible for this collision of psychedelia, manga and, well, art? Then I thought, I would love it if the mind that imagined this dizzying world of jellyfish eyes, singing moss, magic mushrooms and morphing creatures would be willing to have a go at the iconic Louis Vuitton monogram."
The collaboration "has been and continues to be a monumental marriage of art and commerce," writes Jacobs, "one for both the fashion and art history books."
Artists previously named in Time's list include Kara Walker in 2007, Kiki Smith in 2006, and Bruce Nauman in 2004. A retrospective of Murakami's work is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, through July 13.
Architect Rem Koolhaas was also named to this year's list.