Yasumasa Morimura: Old vs. New

Artsy Editorial
Oct 15, 2013 4:55PM

“Art is basically entertainment. Even Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci were entertainers. In that way, I am an entertainer and want to make art that is fun.” —Yasumasa Morimura

Although he sells the sharp wit of his high-tech appropriations a bit short, there’s no denying that Yasumasa Morimura’s images are fun. For his most famous series, “Self Portrait as Art History”, the artist inserted his (highly distinctive) visage into some of the most iconic paintings. Other series have seen Morimura’s face transposed onto Hollywood starlets (“Self-Portrait”) and the 20th century’s defining figures (“Requiem for the 20th Century”). Morimura’s process of creating these works involves physical self-transformations that would make Cindy Sherman proud. “I don’t do my painting on a canvas,” he says. “I do my painting on my face.”

We thought we’d share a few of our favorite Morimuras, paired their references from pop culture, art history, and the news media.

Marilyn Monroe image: Original publicity still for the 1953 film Niagara

“Yasumasa Morimura: Theater of the Self” is on view at The Andy Warhol Museum from October 6th through January 12th, 2014.

Explore the exhibition on Artsy.

Artsy Editorial