Finding Identity and Appropriation Art

752 Words4 Pages
‘Copying, reinterpreting, quoting, and translating are all terms that have been utilised as alternative descriptions for the phenomenon known as “appropriation”, the action of taking or making use of something without authority or legal right. This practice often involves borrowing, mimicking, or even stealing, and it is highly contested and criticized in the contemporary art world’ (Gorman, C 2013, p. 215).

Appropriation in the postmodern decade brings various aspects such as cultural exchange and finding identity. From the number of contemporary artists used the appropriation in their artwork covers a wide range of media. Appropriation art, sometimes cause responses varying from astonishment and suspicion to praise and acceptance, depend on the viewers and the performance by the artist. This essay then critically discusses two particular artists, Masami Teraoka and Yasumasa Morimura, who illustrate the appropriation in their art with similar and dissimilar concepts. The focus is on the visual arts, yet the argument of appropriation has significant effects for analyses of particular conceptualisations such as finding identity and dominion of cultural and intellectual chracteristics

A satirical cultural viewer, Masami Teraoka brings his creativity from a variety of techniques, times, and genres. His artworks sometimes hilariously, sometimes critically, deliver narratives that explore controversial social and political issues. The clash of Asian and Western culture as seen in 31 Flavors Invading Japan (Figure 1) and McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan (Figure 2) are only part of the matters addressed. Teraoka constantly blends culturally particular iconography with current world wide community, appropriates any accepted recogn...

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...ture. Morimura has generated his own creations that literally represent in the wide range of photographs that can be seen in western art history, 20th century media, and movies. Morimura’s work such as Self-Portrait-After Marilyn Monroe (Figure 3) deal with self-portraits created applying appropriation and photography. He appropriates iconic scene or images from history, art and media, and then putting himself into the roles portrayed in the numerous scenes. In his works, he interchanges between acting female characters such as Marilyn Monroe (Figure 4). His unique photographs have received various reactions, from provocation and unfamiliarity to fascination. The obscurity of Morimura’s gender role in his works, bring together with the engaging techniques of his appropriation art, makes him a prominent postmodern artist in the diverse perspective of other critics.

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