Yoshitomo Nara -- Too Young to Die (Ceramic Ashtray)


Glazed Ceramic Ashtray
9 7/8" Diameter
First edition printed with the artist's signature and manufacturer's name (Bozart) on verso.

Excellent condition (2 minor chips measuring 1/16" and 1/32").

The "Too Young To Die" ashtray by Japanese artist Yoshitomo Nara is iconic. The illustration comes from his painting of same title and was first included in the 2001 exhibition "I Don't Mind If You Forget Me" at the the Yokohama Museum.

Influenced by elements of popular culture such as anime, manga, Walt Disney cartoons, and punk rock, Yoshitomo Nara creates paintings, sculptures, and drawings of adorable-yet-sinister childlike characters. Painted with simple bold lines, primary colors, and set against empty backgrounds, these small children and animals often share the canvas with text, knives, plants, and cardboard boxes, among other recurring elements.

Yoshitomo Nara is is associated specifically with the rise of Superflat art; a term coined by Nara's compatriot Takashi Murakami to describe a movement that blends a two-dimensional (flat) graphic design with the more contemplative interests of fine art. One of the most beloved Japanese artists of his generation, Nara's widely recognizable portraits of menacing figures reflect the artist’s raw encounters with his inner self. His work is held in the collections of major museums globally, with a thirty-year survey of his career recently exhibited at LACMA in Los Angeles.