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Judith is your Mother?

17 Jul

I have some more ‘splaining to do.   In a Seussical kind of way.

This is the work of Yasumasa Morimura, a Japanese appropriation artist – one who engages in “the use of borrowed elements in the creation of a new work.”   Specifically, Morimura inserts himself into the artwork borrowed from historical artists (ranging from Edouard Manet to Rembrandt to Frida Kahlo).    In fact, once I got over the weirdness, his catalogue is quite remarkable in Morimura’s ability to transform himself – as evidenced in exhibits at ShugoArts in Koto and the Saatchi Gallery in London.

But back to Judith.

Yasumasa Morimura, “Mother (Judith I),” 1991, photograph, 242.6 x 160 cm, Asian Art Department, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, United States

Here Morimura takes on Cranach (c. 1530, the one I call “Green”) with extraordinary replication, and inserts himself twice into the photograph:  once as Judith and again as Holofernes’ head.    I suppose he titled it “Mother” in reference to Judith giving life to Holofernes’ head – or maybe he had some decapitation fantasy with his own mother – or maybe I am out to lunch.

Speaking of lunch …

Morimura took this appropriation one step further by giving Cranach’s composition the Arcimboldo treatment…

Yasumasa Morimura, “Mother (Judith II),” 1991, photograph, 242.6 x 160 cm, Asian Art Department, Denver Art Museum, Denver, Colorado, United States

… which puts Judith in a stew (please do forgive the awful pun).   While the brussel sprouts do make a lovely necklace, I fear the cabbage has done nothing to enhance Judith’s complexion.   However, the beer mug earrings are interesting touch and add some festivity to the somber scene.

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Posted by on July 17, 2012 in Cacciatore

 

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