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
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.
Dragon Heads - Gold
gold leaf on carbon fibre
51 1/2 x 33 1/8 x 33 1/8 in. (130.8 x 84.1 x 84.1 cm)
Executed in 2015, this work is number 3 from an edition of 3 plus 2 artist's proofs.
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Acquired from the above by present owner
Los Angeles, Blum & Poe, Arhat, April 13 – May 25, 2013 (another example exhibited)
Art Projects Ibiza, Takashi Murakami. Arts Projects Ibiza in Partnership with Blum & Poe, June 24 - September 26, 2015 (another example exhibited)
Paris, Galerie Perrotin, Takashi Murakami. Learning The Magic of Painting, September 10 - December 23, 2016 (another example exhibited)
Brook Mason, "Ibiza takeover: Blum & Poe stage pop-up exhibition of Takashi Murakami's recent work", Wallpaper, July 1, 2015, online (another example illustrated and mentioned)
Matthew Ponsford, "Murakami in Ibiza: Can art's rule-breaker get ravers to a gallery?", CNN, July 2, 2015, online (another example illustrated)
"Takashi Murakami", Wall Street International Magazine, July 23, 2015, online (another example illustrated and mentioned)
Please note: This lot is the property of a private individual.