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 several styles and traditions. Combining the 19th-century Japanese painting style known as Nihonga–itself a mixture of Eastern and Western styles–with contemporary manga, anime, Japanese pop culture, as well as so-called “fine art,” Murakami’s work is as prolific as it is rooted in a mixtures of places and times. Coining the term “Superflat” to describe his and other contemporary Japanese art, Murakami’s unabashed glossy superficialism is not to be taken, ironically, at face value. Underpinned by a sharp wit and a keen awareness of how contemporary visual culture operates, his works’ shiny attractiveness engages in a visual commentary on different histories of art and the nature of contemporary consumer practices. Murakami is 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)