It’s a bold move to place oneself in art history. Yasumasa Morimura takes the most famous works from the history of art and digitally inserts his own face and body into the pieces. Morimura appropriates everything from the paintings of Vincent Van Gogh to Cindy Sherman’s photographs in the creation of his own work.
The Big Deal: Morimura is a Japanesae artist; by placing his own face into well known works from the canon of art history, (as the Mona Lisa, for example), it draws attention to the fact that the authors of art history tend to be white men, presenting a singular perspective. By re-presenting the works with himself as the subject, Morimura raises questions of the relevance of gender and race.
Life in Brief: Born in 1951 in Osaka, Japan. Attends Kyoto City University for the Arts in 1975 – studies painting, printmaking, and photography. His projects include the Western Art History Series, the Actress Series, Japanese Art History Series, and Requiem. Morimura is represented by famed Saatchi Gallery in UK, and his work has been shown worldwide.
Doulannage (Marcel), 1988
Daughter of Art History (Theater A), 1990
Daughter of Art History (Theater B), 1990
Angels Descending a Staircase, 1991
Self-Portrait (Actress), After Liza Minelli I, 1996
Self-Portrait (Actress), Black Marilyn, 1996
Self-Portrait as Art History; Mona Lisa in its Origin, 1998
Singing Sunflowers, 1998
To My Little Sister; for Cindy Sherman, 1998
Read the rest of our Photographers You Should Know posts here.
Erika Jacobs is a Toronto-based freelance photographer and the co-creator of the Knock Twice blog, which is where a version of this post originally appeared. It's is an online resource to assist and inform budding creative professionals. You can visit Knock Twice here.