Dogs are a huge inspiration for Takashi Murakami, and puppies appear in his works very often. He explains how his dog Pom came into his life in an interview for Interview Magazine.
Takashi was very stressed, so he decided to take a rest – a holiday. He was looking for a quiet place where absolutely nothing happened. “I saw a photo in a magazine of a small, dirty hotel, and, in the photo of the hotel, there was this very dirty dog. The hotel was in the very southern part of Japan, a place called Yoronjima . . . It’s just a small coral island—there is nothing there. It was a popular vacation place in Japan in the 1970s, but now it’s very, very quiet, almost like a ghost town. But the hotel there is still alive. The owner is, like, a crazy local guy. Everything there looks really unnatural. This hotel has two dogs. One dog was the one I saw in the picture—it’s a very small dog. But the second one was grown and was pregnant! So I asked the owner when this pregnant dog would give birth, and he kept saying, “Tomorrow, tomorrow . . .” I was waiting for the puppies, so I wound up staying at this hotel for four days. It was a sad situation—there was no sun and no puppies”. But a few days after his return to Tokyo, he got an email from the hotel owner about the dogs. “The dog had babies. What do you think? Can you pick one up from here?” I immediately replied, “Yes, okay.” So he got these four puppies.
But Murakami’s employees weren’t too pleased with Murakami’s new pets, because they knew they would have to take care of them, since Takashi is always travelling. So he decided to take just one puppy. “When I brought her back, I went to the veterinarian to get her checked out. The doctor said that she looked like a Japanese dog.”
Dogs have always been a huge inspiration for Takashi Murakami’s artworks, but even before Pom came into his life. In 2009, Takashi has made a self-portrait with a dog, Pom & Me, even before he started to take care of Pom. The work A Leisurely Meander/On Puppy Island/My Response to Leonardo da Vinci” (2010) also features a puppy. This work is now on auction at Famous Auction House. Bidding starts at 1700.