And Then, and then (Marine Blue: The Superflat Method)
And Then, and then
This lithograph shows Murakami’s signature image, Mr DOB, a hybrid cartoon figure, which is partially based on a stylized portrait of the artist himself. DOB is an abbreviation for “why,” reflecting Murakami’s critical attitude towards the emptiness of consumer society. The images’ flatness references traditional Japanese painting and links his work to the two-dimensional character of much contemporary media imagery and computer graphics. By drawing together Western styles, contemporary media and the subculture of otaku (itself derived from the introduction of American comics), Murakami is able to reflect on a variety of issues, such as the impact of technology and globalization, and their effect on national and individual identity.