About the Exhibition
Reversed Double Helix by Takashi Murakami (b.1963, Tokyo, Japan) is his most ambitious U.S. solo show to date, featuring new works including a large freestanding sculpture, two giant floating balloons, and a forest of mushroom seating. A 30-foot-tall Buddha-like figure with multiple arms and a pointed head presides over the scene at 30 Rockefeller Plaza. "Tongari-kun" (Japanese for "Mr. Pointy"), as he is known in Murakami's universe of characters, is flanked by four smaller figures. Low-lying mushrooms, a familiar motif in Murakami's artwork, surround the central sculpture and serve as seating areas for visitors. Surveying this scene are two gigantic "eyeball" balloons, each thirty feet in diameter, floating sixty feet in the air above the Rockefeller Center ice rink. Murakami also designed the flags surrounding Rockefeller Center to complete the transformation.
Reversed Double Helix refers to the twisted spirals of DNA strands. It plays upon Murakami's universe of mutant cartoon characters, where wide-eyed mushrooms coexist with multi-armed giants, happy flowers, and elfin creatures. Characterized by bright acrylic patterns and flat unblemished surfaces, Murakami's works are an inspired mix of tradition and modernity. With its formal sophistication and ever-gleeful cast of characters, Murakami's art appeals on a purely visual level even as it references religion, subcultures, and art history.