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Takashi Murakami’s ‘If Only I Could Do This, If Only I Could Do That’ (2006) is an imaginative lithograph that incorporates some of the artist’s most celebrated motifs: joyful flowers and Mickey Mouse‐like figures…read more
52.5 x 52.5cm
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Takashi Murakami’s ‘If Only I Could Do This, If Only I Could Do That’ (2006) is an imaginative
lithograph that incorporates some of the artist’s most celebrated motifs: joyful flowers and Mickey
Against a dreamy blue backdrop is a smiling figure in white and a silly figure with pointy teeth in
pink. They recall Murakami’s Mr DOB character, a mixture of western popular culture figures like
Mickey Mouse and elements from Japanese ‘kawaii’ culture. These flattened figures appear to not
fly but float in the air and are accompanied by a smiling speech bubble‐like cloud form, together
establishing perhaps a parody on superhero comic books.
Below are billowing cartoon‐like clouds which rest behind a field of Murakami’s smiling and variously
coloured flowers which jut up from the ground at varying heights. While this motif has come to be
associated with cuteness and innocence, it also bears the weight of Superflat through its fusion of
traditional painting with anime.
Across his career, Murakami worked to blur the boundaries between ‘high’ and ‘low’ art but it is
perhaps in the present work that he achieved the most delicate, subtle balance between the two.