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.
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In this exhibition, Morimura showcases several works from Self-Portraits through Art History series such as Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, Da Vinci, Caravaggio and Van Gogh, in addition to Matsumoto Shunsuke, while Mishima produces new works dedicated to those figures. When Morimura disguises himself as the subject of his artwork, he does not...View More Related Video & Audio MORIMURA Yasumasa Self Portrait Myself as a Stage 2002 2003, chromogenic print 20 April 2020, ShugoArts View More Related Video & Audio MORIMURA Yasumasa Interview, 2018 16 April 2020, ShugoArts View More