Takashi Murakami is well known for his signature cast of recurring characters, including Mr. DOB, who has appeared regularly in his work since 1993. Conceived by the artist as a kind of alter ego or self-portrait, Mr. DOB—whose name is taken from the slang expression “dobojite” (meaning “why?”)—is an amalgam of various pop cultural icons, including Mickey Mouse, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Doraemon, a manga character resembling a catlike robot. Meant to be both authentically Japanese and universal in their appeal, Murakami’s characters comment on contemporary Japanese culture, society and its place in a globalized world. In “Snow,” the flatness of the compositions reflects that of traditional Japanese paintings and prints, depicting a miniature version of Mr. DOB racing across a patterned field of snowflakes.

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Published by Kaikai Kiki, Ltd., Tokyo

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About Takashi Murakami

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Takashi Murakami (Japanese, b. 1962) is internationally renowned for his playful negotiation of various artistic styles and traditions. Often combining Nihonga, a 19th-century Japanese painting style, with contemporary manga and Japanese pop culture, Murakami’s work is underpinned by a sharp wit. Drawing on his keen awareness of art history and contemporary visual culture, Murakami engages in a layered evaluation on consumer practices and contemporary life. Murakami coined the term “Superflat” to describe the cultural commentary and aesthetic preferences characteristic of his work and other contemporary Japanese art. Murakami is also the founder and President of the art management corporation, Kaikai Kiki Co. Ltd.

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Snow, 2001
Lot Number 121
Offset lithograph in colors on smooth wove paper
50 x 50 cm (19.69 x 19.69 in)
Edition of 50
Signed, numbered, and dated on lower right, recto

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Takashi Murakami
  • Dimensions
    50 x 50 cm (19.69 x 19.69 in)