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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
One of the most acclaimed artists to emerge from postwar Asia, Takashi Murakami—“the Warhol of Japan”—is known for his contemporary Pop synthesis of fine art and popular culture, particularly his use of a boldly graphic and colorful anime and manga cartoon style. Murakami became famous in the 1990s for his “Superflat” theory and for organizing the paradigmatic exhibition of that title, which linked the origins of contemporary Japanese visual culture to historical Japanese art. His output includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, animations, and collaborations with brands such as Louis Vuitton. “Japanese people accept that art and commerce will be blended; and in fact, they are surprised by the rigid and pretentious Western hierarchy of “high art’,” Murakami says. “In the West, it certainly is dangerous to blend the two because people will throw all sorts of stones. But that’s okay—I’m ready with my hard hat.”