More about An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Collar of Thorns)

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The artistic spawn of Cindy Sherman, Yasumasa Morimura has obviously mastered the art of impersonation in An Inner Dialogue with Frida Kahlo (Collar of Thorns).

He even got Frida’s unibrow down, which is no small accomplishment.

Morimura was all about inserting himself into the Western canon of art because he was systematically ignored as a Japanese man. This means that he put himself into paintings like Manet’s Olympia, DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, and Velazquez’s Las Meninas. He also cross-dressed as Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn, and imitated Albert Einstein and Salvador Dali. There was really no end to the appropriation Morimura would try and he must have gone through all of the powerful white guys first to get to Frida. She wasn’t exactly in on the art world boys club as a Mexican woman… although she was a powerhouse artist and everyone knew it.

The original of this work is Frida’s Self Portrait with thorn Necklace and Hummingbird. Not that this portrait is super male gaze-able but Yasumasa Morimura’s work flips that whole thing on its head. So if you’re thinking about male-gazing this, just don’t. The original work of this was a gift to Kahlo’s lover Nickolas Murray as she was in the process of divorcing Diego Rivera. So does it mean something that Morimura chose this work to insert himself into or did he just really vibe with this particular monkey, cat, unibrow combo? Your guess is as good as ours.