Murakami Gets US$15M for Controversial Figure Auction

posted on by Egan Loo

The statue titled "My Lonesome Cowboy" by anime-influenced pop artist Takashi Murakami sold for US$15.16 million at the Sotheby's auction house on Wednesday evening in New York City. The 2.54-meter-tall (8-feet, 4-inch), acrylic and fiberglass figure depicts a boy "ejaculating in lasso-like form." It is a larger version of a 50-centimeter-tall (two-feet) figurine that is currently on display at the Brooklyn Museum in the "© MURAKAMI" exhibition. Sotheby's had estimated that the figure would go for only US$3-5 million. Murakami created this figure in 1998 after Gainax co-founder Toshio Okada had suggested that Murakami's earlier, female "Hiropon" figure needed a male companion piece. The statue's winning telephone bid beat Murakami's old record of US$2.72 million, which was set by a figure called "Panda" in April in London. The reaction to the news from Japanese Internet users has been less than positive across the board. (The Japanese link contains artistic depictions of male and female nudity.)

Source: Jiji, Reuters

Thank you to dormcat for the news tip.

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