STPI's Emi Eu reflects on S.E.A. Focus, an STPI project platforming artists and galleries from Southeast Asia, in the wake of Art Stage's decline in 2019 and ahead of the launch of Singapore's new art fair, Art SG, in October 2020.
With India Art Fair set to open amid nationwide protests, Kanika Anand introduces shows in New Delhi, Mumbai, and Kolkata that express shifting socio-political identities, modes of resistance, and explorations of place-making.
Images from abroad , Lada Nakonechna's solo exhibition at Galerie EIGEN + ART in Berlin, considers the barriers that exist between depictions of conflict and their viewers.
Since 1985 Yasumasa Morimura has been taking self-portraits, in which the artist assumes the roles of others. Using props, costumes, prosthetics, cosmetics, and digital manipulation the conceptual photographer and filmmaker recreates iconic images of artworks, photographs, film, the mass-media, and pop culture.Read More
The works of art Morimura reinvents are mainly by European male painters and often depict women as a subject matter-two points for which the canon of Art History has widely been critiqued. His work challenges both the Eurocentrism of Art History and pop culture, as well as the male gaze in the depictions of women, and comments on several facets of identity, including race and gender:
'I was trying to leap across binaries of categorisation—masculine and feminine, East and West—as well as ideas such as the feminisation of the East, Asia becoming synonymous with woman, the feminine mystique. I began playing around with tropes of what is perceived as sexy and exotic to the West.'—Yasumasa Morimura (Artforum, 18th October 2018)
Morimura's appropriations of canonical works span back to the Renaissance, and the Spanish and Dutch Golden Ages, as well as the more recent art history of the 19th and 20th centuries.
Despite being incredibly rich in attention to detail, Morimura's creations also offer a glimpse of humour: Blue Dress in the Afternoon (1989), for example, which is based on Diego Velázquez' Infanta Margarita Teresa in a Blue Dress (1959), depicts a princess in a rich blue gown. However, upon closer inspection, the little girl in Morimura's image seems to have a five-o-clock shadow.
In Hand-Shaped Earring, part of the series 'An Inner Dialogue' with Frida Kahlo which took 10 years to complete, Morimura wraps himself in a Louis Vuitton scarf, which can be read as a satirical take on the commercialisation of the revolutionary and her work in contemporary pop culture.
Text courtesy Reflex Amsterdam.
At the height of McCarthyism, American writer Ray Bradbury published his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 which describes life in a near future where all books are burned on the orders of the state. Extrapolating from the situation of censorship that he felt pervaded 1950s America, Bradbury imagined a fleet of ‘firemen’ who ignite...
Yasumasa Morimura's practice is about blurring boundaries. His intricate tableaus hover in the interstitial space between painting and photography and are admired for their inquiry into the construction of gender and identity. Two exhibitions, In the Room of Art History at Luhring Augustine Bushwick and Ego Obscura at the Japan Society, make...
'In the end, what is history? And what is historical truth? These are questions that do not have ready answers,' Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura asks in egó sympósion', the preface he pens in the catalogue for Ego Obscura , a 30-year retrospective of photographic work in which he transforms iconic works of art and pop culture into...
Three decades after Andy Warhol's death, he remains one of America's most provocative artists. His influence on popular culture is so pervasive that each emerging art movement after him has had to grapple with Warhol's focus on surface perfections and his singular celebrity. Despite their complicated feelings, many contemporary artists say they...
I FIRST STARTED making self-portraits in 1985, using prosthetics, cosmetics, and sets to assume the roles of figures who signify more than themselves—individuals or works that have become archetypes, including old masters' paintings, Albrecht Dürer's Self-Portrait, Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, Édouard Manet's Olympia, Andy Warhol, Marilyn...
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