Defining Psycho Borg: Michael Jackson and Morimura

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Defining Psychoborg through Michael Jackson & Morimura

As an artist, one’s art may be used to depict emotion, used as an outlet for expression, or even to convey a distinctive message. Whether this may be appreciative or analytical in its purpose, Yasumasa Morimura’s depiction of the pop-icon, Michael Jackson, are certainly radical in his piece Psychoborg, from 1994. As a matter of fact, there is a clear resemblance between Michael Jackson and Yasumasa Morimura himself because he uses his art in order to identify himself and construct the Other, distinguish a transformation to create a multifaceted disposition, and creates no divergence between culture, race, and gender.

In his works, the Japanese artist, Yasumasa Morimura, incorporates images of himself inserted into other famous western paintings and photographs using the computer. In this particular piece, he uses a photograph of Michael Jackson in three different poses, and inserts his face into each one. By doing so, Morimura is removing himself from his own body, characteristics, and identity, which in return embody the disposition of Michael Jackson himself. The composition being divided into 3 distinct parts, well divided into the general rule of thirds, also creates balance amongst the 3 characters depicted in this photograph. It allows for the viewer to be able to distinctively notice three different dimensions in the main character. The first pose (starting from left to right) being a photograph of something superhuman which distinguishes both Morimura and Michael Jackson as individuals with animal qualities and symbolize the embodiment of someone or something other than himself. In the second pose, we see Morimura and his hands firm in a rigged pose, however his face is relaxed, seeming solitary and calm. And in the third pose featuring the character as “the freak” refers to both “Morimura and Michael Jackson as “cyborgs” rather than humans.” Similarly to Michael Jackson’s Thriller video,...
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