• Dragon Heads - Gold

    • Dragons Head – Gold, 2015 is an extraordinary example of Takashi Murakami’s three-dimensional, sculptural practice. Taking traditional Japanese iconography and combining it with a contemporary, glossy aesthetic, Dragons Head – Gold dismantles the distinctions between high art and popular culture. 

      Murakami draws inspiration from the flat, graphic imagery of Japanese animation and then materializes sculpture in a three-dimensional form. The work’s undulating, mirrored patina creates a complex visual effect, simultaneously menacing and intriguing. Layers of cascading and gleaming skulls are barely discernible from one another and draw the viewer's gaze deeper into the work. The impermeable, reflective surface of sightless eyes denies one from seeing beyond their lustrous exterior. The skulls themselves, a universal symbol of death that transcends time, are a recurring motif of Murakami’s artistic vocabulary. Here, coated in gold-leaf, these momento mori, rich in art-historical significance, are cleverly manipulated by the artist to represent luxury and excess.
      “Desire and death are always connected in some way, I believe, just as they are both an inextricable part of life. A thrill without danger is not a thrill.”  —Takashi Murakami

      Paul Cezanne, A Pyramid of Skulls, 1898-1900, Private Collection, Photo Credit:Erich Lessing / Art Resource, NY  

      Emerging from off the wall and permeating into the viewer's realm, the eerie physical presence of Dragons Head – Gold confronts the viewers with its all shiny, superficial appearance and then challenges them to explore its multi-faceted visual and cultural dimensions. 

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    Please note: This lot is the property of a private individual.


Sarah Lucas


Nam June Paik