The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


The Student News Site of Chatham University


Andy Warhol Museum’s top exhibit: Yasumasa Morimura’s “Theater of Self”

Yasumasa Morimura's "Self Portrait (B/W)- After Marilyn Monroe," 1996
Yasumasa Morimura’s “Self Portrait (B/W)- After Marilyn Monroe,” 1996

Kayla Mento

The talented Yasumasa Morimura, a Japanese political artist making his name known internationally, has come to the seventh floor of the Andy Warhol Museum.

Morimura is well known for depicting famous artwork throughout history and integrating himself one way or another within the pieces to capture the viewer’s eye from a mile away. Going to this exhibit and not knowing much about him is quite alright for viewers because of the vast information integrated throughout the entire exhibit that takes up all of the seventh floor.

Part of the “Art History” section posted on the wall reads, “Morimura’s depictions of self promotes consumption of European and American visual culture in Japan and other non-Western countries as a primary concern for his work, by inserting his own Japanese identity to narrate Western art history.”

When entering the seventh floor there is one lone picture that mirrors Andy Warhol’s obsession with Marilyn Monroe; however it is Morimura himself posing

as Marilyn in a vintage style black-and-white photograph. Most of his works were made in the 90s and early 2000s, but some photographs and paintings closely mirror old paintings, such as Monet’s Olympia, in which Morimura presents himself as Olympia and mimicked Monet’s technique for this controversial piece.

There are many pieces in the exhibit that Morimura depicts almost identically but makes his own, such as The Mona Lisa, only Morimura renamed his rendition The Pregnant Mona Lisa. He depicts himself as Mona Lisa and shows not only her face but also her lower body sitting in the chair, nude, and pregnant.

The piece next to it portrays the same thing, but shows the viewer the image through her stomach, so that viewers can see the child within Mona Lisa’s stomach.

Many other interesting and controversial pieces Morimura has done was over to the left of the exhibit just after entering, In one photograph he presents himself as the famous Chinese communist leader, Mao Zedong, and next to it, presents himself as Che Guevara.

Walking past these two pieces is my favorite of Morimura’s renditions: He is Charlie Chaplin playing Adolf Hitler in the 1940s movie, “The Great Dictator.” In this photograph, Morimura is doing Chaplin’s famous stance from the movie cover. He is standing in front of microphones and derailing Hitler by presenting a phallic shape in the bottom right corner. Morimura’s take on this is absolutely incredible and controversial-not only for that but for also presenting the audience in the background as various animal heads ranging from elephants to pigs.

These are only a few of Morimura’s amazing pieces, but there are many more to experience. Chatham ID’s allows students free admission to Carnegie Museum’s and Andy Warhol is one out of the four students can get free access into by showing ID’s. Take advantage of this opportunity and check out the exhibit for yourself so that you can experience this breathtaking exhibit by Morimura. The exhibit will remain open until January 12, 2014.

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