4/17/13:“Portrait (Futago)” by Yasumasa Morimura
This work for me just screams Modern art, as it strives to speak new thoughts through old works. This work was clearly done in imitation of Edouard Manet’s famous piece “Olympia”, in which a high class prostitute of the time was portrayed with a Black female servant in the background. In this new version, the artist has not only included himself in the painting, but actually portrays himself as both the prostitute Olympia as well as the servant. He has transformed the black cat in the painting into a figurine of a cat. Each new addition is important to remember. The original painting was intended to speak about class, race, and gender as a statement of modernity. The new envisioning of the work adds a bridal kimono to the courtesan, indicating she is a Japanese bride, while the figurine displays prosperity, reiterating the class and race themes present in the original painting. The painting as a whole reiterates the fact that the East is still present in Western art just as it was before.
Commentary on the artist’s work:
Analysis of technique:
More on the original painting:
Bio on the artist: