Yasumasa Morimura
Japanese artist



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Yasumasa Morimura
Japanese artist
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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Yusumasa Morimura is an art historical chameleon. He’s made his living appropriating famous art and artists.

He thinks of an iconic image, like Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring or Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and dresses up like the famous painting. If you glance at them quickly you almost can’t tell the difference.  Upon closer inspection however, you realize your favorite subjects have been replaced by a slight Japanese man in drag!

In an attempt to comment on the over-idolization of certain artists, he’s masqueraded as Salvador Dali, Andy WarholYves Klein and Pablo Picasso.  Is he poking fun at art’s superstars, paying homage to creators he admires, or riding the coattails of those who’ve already achieved fame? Arguments can be made for all.

Morimura does celebrities, too. Like Albert Einstein with the crazy white hair, Audrey Hepburn in her elegant black shift, even a nude pin-up of sexpot Marilyn Monroe- fake boobs and all! If anything, you’ve got to respect his attention to detail. They’re spitting images. And if the whole art thing doesn’t work out for him, he can always make a living as a celebrity impersonator, taking pictures with tourists on Hollywood and Vine.

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Here is what Wikipedia says about Yasumasa Morimura

Yasumasa Morimura (森村 泰昌, Morimura Yasumasa, born June 11, 1951) is a Japanese appropriation artist. He was born in Osaka and graduated from Kyoto City University of Arts in 1978. Since 1985, Morimura has primarily shown his work in international solo exhibitions, although he has been involved in various group exhibitions.

Education and early works

Yasumasa Marimura graduated from Kyōto City University of Arts in 1978, Philadelphia College of Art in 1982, and Columbia University in 1985. Then he served as an assistant at the university and devoted himself to painting, drawing, photography, and wood-block art. Morimura first attracted attention in 1988, when a number of his self-portraits were included in the Venice Bienalle's Aperto exhibition for young artists. Morimura's first published artword was a recreation titled Portrait (Van Gogh) in 1985 where he recreated Vincent van Gogh's famous portrait after he had cut off his ear. Next was his redoings of well-known pieces like (Mona Lisa in its Origin [1998]), (An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo [Collar of Thorns] [2001]), (In Praise of Velázquez: distinguished ones in confinement [2013]) and (A Requiem: Theatre of Creativity/Self-portrait as Pablo Picasso [2010]), world figures like Ché Guevara, Adolf Hitler, and Chairman Mao. Morimura's self-portraits were of Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo, and Liza Minnelli. Other earlier works include Little Sister (+ Elder Sister; 2 works), Angels Descending a Staircase, and Six Brides Six Brides all from 1991.

Check out the full Wikipedia article about Yasumasa Morimura.