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Takashi Murakami, Welcome to Murakami-Ego, 2012, vinyl, fiber-reinforced plastic, polyamide, 19' 8 1/4“ x 17' 10 3/4” x 20' 5 1/4".

Takashi Murakami

Al Riwaq Art Space

Takashi Murakami, Welcome to Murakami-Ego, 2012, vinyl, fiber-reinforced plastic, polyamide, 19' 8 1/4“ x 17' 10 3/4” x 20' 5 1/4".

Visitors were greeted on the way into the latest megashow by Takashi Murakami with Welcome to Murakami—Ego, 2012, a nearly twenty-foot-high balloon in the shape of the artist sitting down in his casual shorts and T-shirt. Crushed into the space, he was an extremely imposing presence, especially since the realism of the gigantic FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic) head can be equaled only by Madame Tussaud’s wax figures; his outstretched hand seems to demand the praise and worship due a supericon. Antithetical to the candy-colored Pop associated with the artist, this self-portrait is anything but cartoonlike, printed with details such as body hair or fingerprints, while the coloring is natural and subdued. Given that everything below the shoulders is inflated plastic, the rendering of the body is delicate and accurate, capturing subtle curves in the extremities as well as the

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