Keiichi Murakami

Japanese (1949)

Despite the post-war environment of his youth, which thrust him headlong into western art and western ways, Murakami clung to the exoticism of his Asian heritage and culture. By combining scholarly Japanese printmaking techniques with modern airbrush methods of applying brilliant colors, he created works that radiated an electric vibrancy while still retaining that purity of spatial serenity so characteristic of ancient Japanese art. He quickly gained recognition in the world of commercial illustration, but soon began to pursue a fine art direction. Through a series of select commissions in his own country, Murakami became one of Japan's premier artists. And by bridging the worlds of both east and west, he managed to achieve a wonderfully bejeweled style that holds universal appeal.

  
"Day Dream" is a startling amalgam of oriental and occidental art techniques by this master colorist. It depicts two figures, each representing a sublime mixture of western and eastern features.

Does "Day Dream" reveal two lovers like Romeo and Juliet or Scheherazade and her prince surrounded with a sumptuously rich decorative element of stunning beauty?   Or are we perhaps looking at the duality - part male, part female - that exists side by side in all of us?  The androgynous nature of the two people, the juxtaposition of the western and eastern features (two different people or one person holding a mask?), the ornate art nouveau filigree adorning their clothing, and the provocative sexual imagery of the flowers, all swirl around in one magnificent, heady elixir of intellectualism and sensuality.

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