YASUMASA MORIMURA: REFLECTIONS
February 4–April 22, 2007
Yasumasa Morimura: Reflections, installation view.
Paintings, drawings, and prints from diverse artists are both an inspiration and source material for Yasumasa Morimura (Japan), who meticulously recreates historic masterworks with one crucial alteration: he replaces the central figures from the original works with images of himself. Using digital technology, theatrical make-up, props, and custom-made costumes, Morimura ingeniously transforms into Rembrandt, reinvents himself as a pregnant Mona Lisa, and renders, through his own features, the pathos and strength of Frida Kahlo
Morimura’s desire to connect with iconic subjects while commenting on contemporary concerns is particularly apparent in his rendition of Goya’s renowned series of prints, Los Caprichos. Turning the black-and-white etchings into dramatic and colorful interpretations, Morimura reinforces Goya’s critical commentary on the greed and corruption perpetrated by the ruling classes and the church during the Spanish Inquisition. He also draws parallels to how these vices continue to exist in today’s society. Morimura’s echoing of masterworks enables him to reflect on the intentions of the original artists while making them relevant in a new way today.
Gonzalo, Pilar. Yasumasa Morimura. Galgiani, Phillip, 2000
Daughter of art history: photographs by Yasumasa Morimura. Introduction by Donald Kuspit. New York: Aperture, c 2003.
Yasumasa Morimura: Reflections has been funded by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board, with funds from the State of Wisconsin. Contributions from the John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s loyal corporate, foundation, and individual donors have also been vital. The Arts Center expresses its deep gratitude to them as well as to Luhring Augustine Gallery for making this exhibition possible. As always, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center is grateful to its dedicated Board members, volunteers, and staff.