. Takashi Murakami - Baka  -  Oct. 16 to Dec. 21, 2019

Galerie Perrotin
76 Rue de Turenne
75003 Paris

. www.perrotin.com

Takashi Murakami is back at the Paris gallery three years after his exhibition Learning the Magic of Painting. This new show follows several  museum  exhibitions  throughout  the  world:  Tai  Kwun  Contemporary,  Hong  Kong  (2019);  the  Vancouver  Art  Gallery  (2018); the Garage Museum, Moscow (2017-2018); the Modern Museum  of  Fort  Worth  (2018);  the  MCA  Chicago  (2017)  and  the Astrup Feamley Museet, Oslo (2017).

This is the 12th solo exhibition by the artist at Perrotin since he first met Emmanuel Perrotin in 1993.

This exhibition presents about twenty works in Perrotin’s Salle de Bal at 60 rue de Turenne – a showroom that is usually closed to the public and only available to visit by appointment.

The large space is dedicated to Mr. DOB, the iconic character created  by  the  artist  in  1993.  For  this  exhibition,  the  artist  has  created six new portraits of Mr. DOB in shaped canvas formed around  the  character’s  contours.  In  the  middle  of  the  room,  a  central 5-foot sculpture represents the same full-length character. The design for Mr. DOB was inspired by several animated figures including  Doraemon,  Sonic  and  Mickey  Mouse.  His  name  is  a  diminutive of the expression dobojite, meaning “why” in Japanese slang.   Accompanying   Takashi   Murakami   in   his   existential   questioning, the character of DOB has developed a complex psychology  to  the  point  of  becoming  an  avatar  of  the  artist.  In  counterpoint to the portraits of Mr. DOB, the artist also created two humorous self-portraits in shaped canvas, rendering himself in caricature.

In  the  room  adjacent  to  the  main  salle  de  bal  space,  the  artist  presents the debut showing of the sculpture Devil Ko2, the latest in his succession of hyper-sexualized, life-sized manga sculptures which includes Miss Ko2 (1997), Hiropon (1997), My Lonesome Cowboy (1998) and Nurse Ko2 (2011). It was the erotic manga illustrator  Nishi  e  Da  who  created  the  original  drawing  of  Devil Ko2  in  2004.  Presented  alongside  the  sculpture  will  be  a  photograph by Takashi Murakami, also taken in 2004, featuring a young woman dressed in a Devil Ko2 costume. It would take the artist  over  ten  years  to  complete  the  final  work  shown  in  this  exhibition.

One  other  piece  from  a  new  series  entitled  the  Panda  Flower  Ball  will  offer  a  reinterpretation  of  a  recurrent  motif  in  Takashi  Murakami’s work: flowers.

On  the  lower  level,  the  visitor  will  discover  another  aspect  of  Murakami’s work inspired by traditional Japanese painting. Two large paintings, nearly 33 feet long, and three tondos represent fish in an aquatic world, rendered in monochromatic blue tones over a pale background. Exhibited for the first time in France, this recent  series  of  Fish  Paintings  is  inspired  by  an  original  motif  painted  on  a  vase  dating  from  the  Yuan  dynasty  in  China  (c.  1206-1368).  In  these  works,  ancient  iconography  combines  with memories from the artist’s childhood: walks along the river with his father and the contemplation of carp fishermen.