Sunday, June 29, 2008

Another Reason to Love the Japanese - Yasumasa Morimura

Yasumasa Morimura is a Japanese photographer that creates interpretations of famous painters by placing himself in the pictures. He also does pictures of himself as famous movies stars like Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn.


He's done such a good job, that his pictures hang in some of the most prestigious modern art museums in the world such as the Luhring Augustine Gallery in New York city. He has become my hero, this is what I have aspired to do without knowing of his work.

I recently discovered him while in my photography class. I had submitted a photo of myself as a Geisha, and my professor at first did not realize it was me. The class discussed the photo on it's own merits, then the inevitable question came up as to who the model was. I said it was a self-portrait. The class was impressed as was evidenced by their positive reactions. My professor said I was like a reverse Yasumasa Morimura in that I was interpreting a Japanese theme and he interprets Western themes. So I just had to look him up!

Not only does he blur gender lines, but being Japanese, his interpretations ask the question: Would these images be as popular as they are if they were of Japanese people instead of people of Western heritage?

And, here's an example of him blurring the lines between painting and photography. This is Portrait (Queen and Dog) 1991:


So please look him up, check out his Gallery. He is another "Gender Illusionist" for me to look up to.


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