Takashi Murakami: Arhat

Art, Painting Free
Takashi Murakami, "Arhat"
Photo courtesy Blum & Poe From Takashi Murakami's "69 Arhats Beneath the Bodhi Tree," 2013.

Provocative Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, whose work has been shown at the likes of the Guggenheim Museum and Palace of Versailles, returns for the sixth time to Culver City's huge art gallery Blum & Poe (2727 S La Cienega Blvd) for his newest exhibition, Arhat. The new paintings and scuptures on display are a melding of Murakami's more than 20 years of experience and combine his affinity for nihonga traditional painting with his interest in the modern styles of manga and animation. Throughout, find imagery like skulls juxtaposed with cheerful flower faces and a showcase of Murakami's variety of techniques. The show is spread out through three rooms; the largest is full of three impressive, huge, mural-like paintings that measure from 18-35 feet long and look striking against the starkly white walls. The colorful yet grotesque, meticulously detailed works depict Buddhist monks facing death and decay. A more cheerful work is the artist's sculptural self portrait: a stainless steel cartoon version of himself taking a nap with his dog, in the final gallery.


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