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  • Provenance

    Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    For the past 20 years, Takashi Murakami has reshaped the way we think of contemporary art. By blurring the traditional lines drawn between Eastern and Western Art and marrying historical narratives with post-modern aesthetics, he has created an extensive body of work that integrates high art and popular culture in an accessible yet intellectually complex manner. Visually, Murakami’s paintings and sculptures are colorful and inviting, referencing lovable cartoon characters and perky imagery rendered in bright hues on flat and glossy surfaces. These signature motifs allow the artist to simultaneously reference his Japanese upbringing yet create works that are employable to international audiences.

    The present lot, DOB, 1996, is a prime example of Murakami creating a Japanese icon that would generate immediate universal appeal. The character in the painting, MR. DOB, was created by the artist in 1993 and serves as a self-portrait or alter-ego in his work. Mr. DOB has a circular head with two ears with the letter “D” inscribed on the left ear and “B” on the right while the face is shaped like an “O” creating a distinct reference to the character’s name. DOB is a construction of the Dada phrase “Dobojite, dobojite” (why? Why?) and the Japanese catchphrase “oshamanbe.” It is this deep structural understanding of Western art integrated alongside kitsch “Japanese-ness” that has escalated Murakami into his permanent status as a revolutionary in the art world. With a self portrait at its center surrounded by a pool of shimmering silver, the present lot, DOB, 1996 captures the quintessence of its maker.

  • Artist Biography

    Takashi Murakami

    Japanese • 1962

    Takashi Murakami is best known for his contemporary combination of fine art and pop culture. He uses recognizable iconography like Mickey Mouse and cartoonish flowers and infuses it with Japanese culture. The result is a boldly colorful body of work that takes the shape of paintings, sculptures and animations.

    In the 1990s, Murakami founded the Superflat movement in an attempt to expose the "shallow emptiness of Japanese consumer culture." The artist plays on the familiar aesthetic of mangas, Japanese-language comics, to render works that appear democratic and accessible, all the while denouncing the universality and unspecificity of consumer goods. True to form, Murakami has done collaborations with numerous brands and celebrities including Kanye West, Louis Vuitton, Pharrell Williams and Google.

    View More Works

134

DOB b

1996
acrylic on canvas, laid on panel
13 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (34.3 x 34.3 cm.)
Signed, titled, inscribed and dated "Takashi, 1996, DOB. No. 2" on the reverse.

Estimate
$250,000 - 350,000 

Contact Specialist
Amanda Stoffel
Head of Sale
[email protected]
+1 212 940 1261

Contemporary Art Day Sale

New York 17 May 2013 10am