MURAKAMI, Takashi, And then, and then and then and then and then
Takashi Murakami is best known for his appropriation of the iconography and methodology of manga and anime, including their means of production and distribution; his characters are produced by his studio in industrial quantities with minor variations. This work, which Murakami maintains was intended as an ironic self-portrait, marks one of the earliest appearances of Mr DOB, a slightly unhinged blend of the popular characters Sonic the Hedgehog and Doraemon that has appeared consistently in his work for the past two decades.
The painting also represents a stepping stone in the artist’s transition to commercial production. Wishing to emulate the made-to-order manufacturing techniques of American Minimalism, he outsourced its painting to a signwriter. On finding the finished product ‘too perfect’, Murakami set about hand-sanding the piece – a technique he borrowed from his training in nihonga or Japanese-style painting – making it unique within the artist’s substantial oeuvre. Murakami now regards it as his most representative work.
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