Yayoi Kusama

Just stumbled upon this artist (aka 草間 彌生 or 草間 弥生).  Her work is pure joy . . . perhaps on drugs.  Or it just speaks to children, either way. 

A little background from Wikipedia:

Picture of the Repetitive Vision installation ...

Image via Wikipedia

Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生 or 草間 弥生 Kusama Yayoi?, born March 22, 1929 in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture) is a Japanese artist whose paintings, collages, soft sculptures, performance art and environmental installations all share an obsession with repetition, pattern, and accumulation. (She has described herself as an “obsessive artist”.)

Kusama’s work is based in Conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. Kusama is also a published novelist and poet, and has created notable work in film and fashion design. She has long struggled with mental illness.

On November 12, 2008 Christies New York sold a work by her for $5.1 million, a record for a living female artist.[1]

According to her biography on Wikipedia, she has suffered from suicidal tendencies, hallucinations, obsessive thoughts and severe physical abuse as a child.  Frankly, I can see the obsessiveness in her work, but the playfulness certainly doesn’t match up in my mind with someone who has been suicidal on a recurring basis.

Her latest exhibit “Look Now, See Forever” is at the Gallery of Modern Art in Queensland, Australia from 19 November 2011 to 11 March 2012.  Part of the work is a new installation commissioned for this exhibit called “The Obligteration Room.” Essentially, Kusama painted an entire room a stark white color and then gave children stickers and invited them to decorate.

Here is the room before the kids got to it:

Now here’s the room afterwards:

And just in case you are interested, here is the room in the meantime:

The colors are so frenetic, urgent, and aggressive that there is almost something disturbing about the room.  But maybe that’s just from someone who wouldn’t be totally into a room full of gum balls.

Speaking of, Willy Wonka would be jealous of this room, I think.

Kusama Paintings

Image by marttj via Flickr

1 Comment

Filed under art, culture

One response to “Yayoi Kusama

  1. Haha, that’s brilliant! A friend had photos of this with their children, but I didn’t realise that it was part of an exhibition… I am now planning to check it out! Thanks

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