A lightning rod of cultural dichotomies, Takashi Murakami believes the artist to be one who perceives and limns the borders between worlds. Combining refined classical painting techniques with a supercharged mix of Pop, animé, and otaku imagery in his distinctive “Superflat” style, Murakami moves freely within an ever-expanding field of aesthetic issues and cultural inspirations. Parallel to the dystopian themes which pervade his work, he recollects and revitalizes traditional narratives of transcendence and enlightenment. Mining religious and secular subjects favored by the so-called Japanese “eccentrics”—non-conformist artists of the Early Modern era widely regarded as counterparts of the Western Romantic tradition—Murakami situates himself within their legacy of bold and lively individualism in a manner that is entirely his own and of his time.