Going Dotty for Yayoi Kusama
A long admirer of this wildly eccentric, psychedelic and hugely inspiring artist, I’ve put together a little piece into her extensive career and beautifully bold work.
Kusama’s love and obsession with polka dots started at a young age, using the dots and net motifs throughout her work, which she later attributes to a series of hallucinations. From paintings to installations, her work is as diverse as her persona.
A beautiful picture of Kusama as a young girl.
Emerging from Japan onto the New York art scene in the 1960’s, Kusama was fascinated by The Pop Art movement, encapsulating the essence of this period with her psychedelic and vibrant colours, graphic lines and repetitive style of creating patterns.
I love the way she augments a space, creating her ‘Infinity’ rooms, full of mirrors and coloured balls to create the illusion of endless pattern. These are directly inspired by her hallucinations and in the 1970’s she returned to Japan and took permanent residence in Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill, with her studio close by she continues to produce work to this day.
In 2012 The Tate Modern displayed an epic retrospective of Kusama work, where she made her first visit outside Japan for 12 years. These large scale paintings displayed in such a way have immense impact. I think they would make brilliant silk scarves.
Kusama embraces her work and becomes part of it. The early black and white shots of her, covered in polka dots, immersed are quite something. A career spanning over half a century I offer merely a glimpse, here are a few more of my favourite snaps.
'The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away', a mirror panelled room with LED lights.
This image is absolutely mesmerising, part of an exhibition in New York, 'Love is Calling', these illuminated inflated tentacles that gradually change colour.
Watch Kusama's short film entitled 'Self-Obliteration' by Jud Yalkut in 1967. It is crazily beautiful, trippy and wildly obscure, enjoy!