Yasumasa Morimura and Marcel Duchamp: Appropriations

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Art speech: Artists who appropriate The post modern era is one in which things were twisted, changed and critiqued. Some people questioned the ways and ‘rules’ of society, rebelling against conformity and the usual ideas of what was ‘right’ or ‘allowed’. Artists were largely in this group. Marcel Duchamp and Yasumasa Morimura are examples of artists who appropriated other people, things and paintings in their work, to change their meanings, and either rebel against the norms of society, make a statement about issues affecting them and their culture, or to add humour to a once serious piece. Marcel Duchamp, born in France in 1887, to an artistic family, was an expressive artist who was able to think outside the square, and through his…show more content…
Morimura was also a homosexual. He was very homosexual. This history led onto him investigating how Japan interacts with the outer world, by piecing together new identities in his artworks and photographs, combining his own culture with that of the global community. His gayness was also another factor which sculpted the issues in which come up in his pieces. Morimura appropriates the famous images from Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Manet and Frida Kahlo, and also the American Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Vivian Leigh and Elizabeth Taylor, with his face inserted over theirs. In the image Marilyn Monroe, Morimura features in a digitalized photograph 3 times, where he appears in different poses of the pop icon Marilyn, from her famous movie the seven year itch. Each Morimura, as Marilyn Monroe, stands upon a pedestal, which accentuates her influential power, even with all her girly charm, which Morimura clearly defines. Morimura isn’t just playing dress ups. He is making a statement about the issues he feels he faces personally including sexuality, gender and race, and those affecting Japanese society such as race and the western impact upon Japanese culture. Morimura considers himself as being “a performer, in costume, in makeup, representing a character that is both well known, yet making a current social statement.” Morimura uses his characters to make the statement to society

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