Most of Japanese artist Yasumasa Morimura’s work is based on self-portraiture. Over the course of his thirty year career, he’s created a large body of work recreating himself as different characters and subjects. From Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” to Vincent Van Gogh’s “Singing Sunflowers,” or appearing as Frida Kahlo and Cindy Sherman, Morimura has used props, costumes, makeup and postproduction magic to reinvent himself as recognizable subjects in paintings and photographs.
Another prominent artist Morimura has re-imagined is Diego Velázquez. Velázquez, a Spaniard who was one of the most important Baroque painters of his time, worked in the court of King Philip IV. To create his series, “Las Meninas Renacen de Noche (Las Meninas Reborn in the Night),” Morimura created portrays himself as eleven different personalities, and, for the first time, appears as himself in a few of the works. Taking it one step further, he also photographed Velázquez’s original painting where it currently hangs at the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid.
“Las Meninas” is currently on display at Luhring Augustine in New York City through January 24, 2015.