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Critical Review

The Doraemon collection produced by the critically acclaimed Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, consists of a variety of prints all of which feature the outline of Doraemon, the earless robotic cat from the popular manga series written and illustrated by Fujiko F. Fujio. Murakami fills the cartoon character’s body with an array of other cartoon characters, all rendered in bright and bold colours.

Murakami is an advocate of art being for the people. As well as producing limited edition prints that sell for high six figure sums, Murakami also designs products for the public to buy. Murakami has designed a range of products, from key chains to T-shirts, stuffed toys and pillows. While the artist has been criticised for selling these products as a means of making money, Murakami’s merchandise is a way of democratising art, and ensuring that it is accessible to all.

Like Andy Warhol’s New York studio, The Factory, Murakami has a factory-size studio, known ‘Kaikai Kiki’ where he is accompanied by a team of over 100 technicians who help him produce his artworks. The people employed by Kaikai Kiki receive rigorous training in print making and design, with their final test being a task in which they must paint a perfect cartoon mushroom, a trademark feature of Murakami’s visual language. As well as being a proponent of art for the masses, Murakami believes that art should be a collaborative process, like filmmaking. Murakami’s team of technicians are integral to his artistic process and are always credited in his works.