Prolific Japanese artist Takashi Murakami recently launched his latest exhibition, “Arhat” at Los Angeles’s Blum & Poe – coinciding with the world premier of his first live-action feature film, Jellyfish Eyes. Melding together a myriad of styles, the exhibition brings together the common juxtaposition seen in his work — East meets West, historical with the contemporary — while also dabbling with various methodologies and abstract narratives. Murakami’s longstanding interest with Japanese nihonga painting and animation is evident, often infused with a stark sense of peculiarity, sometimes completely at odds with the original art form. Hence “Arhat” – which in Sanskrit translates to “a being who has achieved a state of enlightenment” — on the one hand conjures recognizable imagery, yet it also allows passage foreign lands where obsolete Buddhist monks confront decay and death with demonic monsters. Murakami’s versatility is on show too; with bright installations from his Flowers & Skulls collection offering an optimistic counterpoint in another room. Elsewhere, mounted sculptures and a series of painted self-portraits populate the show room, showing the artist’s diverse mastery of content and culture. “Arhat” will run from April 13 to May 25, make sure you drop by if you’re in town.
Blum & Poe
Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
2727 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034