Takashi Murakami is often associated with and draws on manga and otaku, the ultrasophisticated Japanese subcultures of animation, comics, and technology. His work brings together such diverse elements as plastic models, cartoons, advertising balloons, Pop Art, and Conceptual Art strategies. Murakami uses this mass-media imagery and the charms of media communication to highlight the specificity and the contradictions of Japanese culture, particularly in its encounters with the West. For instance, his creation of the unique cartoon character DOB, based in part on Mickey Mouse and the Japanese cartoon character Astro Boy, comments on the "Disneyfication" of society and how the cuteness of a product is one way to guarantee its success. Murakami's Hiropon (1997) and My Lonesome Cowboy (1998) are figurative life-size cartoon sculptures that celebrate sexual-spirituality. Art critic Dave Hickey, writing for Artforum in December 1998, compared the baroque extravagance of My Lonesome Cowboy to Gian Lorenzo Bernini's Ecstasy of Saint Theresa. Murakami uses popular iconography to challenge and update traditional Japanese and Western art as he explores three-dimensional representation. His work was included in the 1999 Carnegie International. (source)
Featured comment by Emilio Sustierras :
Of course, make no mistake about the title, which is a brand name of methamphetamine developed in 1941 and commonly used by soldiers and, allegedly, the tokkôtai suicide bombers in WW2.