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About the Work“I am not me. I cannot become myself” features "Daruma," the founder of Zen Buddhism. The titles of each Daruma print refer directly to the Zen master's life and teachings. There is a long history and tradition of portraying "Daruma." Review images on the web so that you see the connection between history and Murakami's play with this image. Murakami's images of Daruma should be read in context with his exploration of consumption, excess, and desire in today's consumer culture and that the issue is not "new" but perhaps more intense than it ever has been historically, in Japan or elsewhere.
"I am not me. I cannot become myself." is a 27.5 x 32.75 – inch offset lithograph with printing leaf and high-gloss varnishing, in an edition of 300, hand-signed and numbered by the artist.
About the Artist
Takashi Murakami was born in Tokyo, Japan on February 1, 1962. His influence for art derives from his mother, who studied needlepoint and designed textiles. Murakami knew he wanted to be an artist when he grew up, and had always taken a large interest in animation and comics. He studied art throughout much of his adolescence, and applied to study at Tokyo National University. He was accepted and later received his Ph.D. in Fine Arts and Music, in which he learned “Nihong”, or traditional Japanese painting. After his studies, Murakami moved to New York in 1994 and was exposed to, and inspired by, Western contemporary artists like Jeff Koons.