Yoshitomo Nara is a Japanese artist best known for his paintings of children and animals that appear simultaneously sweet and sinister, as seen in his work Do Not Disturb! (1996). A contemporary of Takashi Murakami, Nara has been influenced by popular culture in both Eastern and Western society. His versatile practice explores themes of isolation, rebellion, and spirituality through printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and installations.
Born on December 5, 1959 in Hirosaki, Japan, he studied at the Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, where he earned both his BFA and MFA, and later at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during the late 1980s. He currently lives and works in Tokyo. The artist’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, among others.