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, as well as on other iconic pictorial sources from history. His unsettling deconstruction of iconic images and masterpieces challenges the assumptions already placed on such images while commenting on Japan's complex and conflicting absorption of Western culture. His ability to both satirize and simultaneously create an homage to his source material is what makes Morimura's work particularly forceful and effective.
The artist currently has a solo exhibition at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, which is the largest survey exhibition of his work in America to date. Morimura also currently has exhibitions at Shiseido Gallery in Tokyo and at the Hara Museum in Tokyo; he is also serving as the Artistic Director of the 2014 Yokohama Trienniale. 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.