Yasumasa Morimura (b.1951, Osaka) appropriates universally well known images derived from art history, mass media and pop culture to create unconventional and bold self-portrait renderings in photography, performance and video. Through the extensive use of props, costumes, make-up and digital manipulation, Morimura masterfully transforms himself into recognizable subjects that punctuate the western cultural cannon. His series include works based on seminal paintings by artists such as Frida Kahlo, Van Gogh, Velazquez or Goya and on pictorial sources from history and the mass media. His unsettling deconstruction of iconic images and masterpieces challenges the assumptions already placed on such works/images while commenting on Japan's complex and conflicting absorption of Western culture. His ability to satirize and simultaneously create an homage of his source material is what makes Morimura's work particularly forceful and effective.
Morimura's work has been collected by numerous prominent public and private collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, The Museum of Fine Art, Boston, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles and The Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh. He currently has a major solo show at and the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo that will travel to three other venues throughout Japan. Major museum exhibitions in the United States are forthcoming in 2012/2013.