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About the WorkWhen describing the use of flowers in his work, Murakami states “At the beginning, to be frank, I didn't like flowers, but as I continued teaching in the school, my feelings changed: their smell, their shape–it all made me feel almost physically sick, and at the same time I found them very 'cute.' Each one seems to have its own feelings, its own personality.” “Kansei: Skulls” reflects his oscillation between repulsion and adoration, as the intensely saturated pattern both overwhelms and excites in this homage to the Japanese era of tolerance, spanning January 1789 through February 1801. “Kansei: Skulls” is a circular shaped artwork measuring 28 in diameter, and it is hand-signed offset lithograph with cold stamp and high gloss varnish.
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.”