15 December 2008

A World of Dots


I am sure that it will come as little surprise to many that I am a fan of the artist
Yayoi Kusama. Her joyful and inspiring works actually stem from a severely traumatic childhood, overcoming a physically abusive mother. She actually still deals her with mental illness and hallucinations, which from a young age inspired her artwork.

Kusama is known primarily for her obsessive and complusive works, covering vast areas in small dots of bright colours, which she lovely calls her 'infinity nets'. She gained prominence when she travelled to America in the 1960s, following her correspondence with Georgia O'Keeffe. She quickly gained an audience in the Minimalist movement, along with a number of other foreign female artists, such as Eva Hesse. Working alongside a number of Feminists, she was also a voice in a number of political issues. Her rallies and protests gained notoriety for taking place in prominent venues and causing quite the scene. Indeed she famously organised nude protests against the Vietnam War. Since the mid-1970s Kusama has actually voluntarily lived in a mental institute, working from her studio nearby.

What I have always been attracted to are her vibrant colours, and although her pieces are obssesive in nature, they are never overwhelming or too strong on the senses. Many may also recognise her from Loïc Prigents's documentary, 'Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton', where Jacobs expressed her admiration for her work. Indeed the documentary also went on to show Marc working on bags inspired by Kusama's colours and patterns. Kusama has actually even worked on a number of fashion collaborations herself over the years, which inevitably kept her joyous aesthetic.

Currently playing: The Message - Grandmaster Flash


xxxx

48 comments:

  1. I've never heard of her before but I must admit I am intrigued. I love the colors (so vibrant and lovely) and how they more or less distract from the obsessive patterns. Will definitely check her work out!

    Thank you for the comment on my blog, I'm glad I'm not the only one excited by buying household things :)

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  2. Wow, dots dots dots! I love dots :D So amazing! I like how it blends wit the background that you can just dissapear into the background.

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  3. hey there...just had a look through your blog..really like it..tagged you on my page! x

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  4. love this post so much. I don't see Kusama mentioned much so it was lovely to read your post about her.

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  5. oh yeah great to learn more about her.. i'd first seen her on the Marc Jacobs documentary

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  6. I'm not familiar with Kusama, but these images of her work and the backstory you've related are compelling and moving. Will have to dig around and find out more. It's funny: I see the obsession-compulsion themes, but since the patterns are so regular, it all appears very orderly to me. Except, perhaps, for the tulips. Which I LOVE.

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  7. Aaaaaamazing! I especially love the one with the big, red, polka-dotted bowling pins! How did you hear about Kusama? If you get MJ's stamp of approval, you know you've made it as an artist!

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  8. Don't a lot of great artists have some sort of mental illness or had a traumatic childhood or whatnot?

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  9. These are fantastic. It's like someone finally took of picture of my busy mind. :)

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  10. Came across your blog accidentally, and I loved this post.

    Haven't seen the documentary, but I can definetly see the connection between Kusama and Marc Jacobs' graphic prints.
    ..the red and white reminds me of the lining on my favorite MJ coat! :)

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  11. great artworks, i really love the second.

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  12. I love this post, so interesting and intriguing.
    I've never heard about her, so thank you for sharing.
    Love those pictures.

    Thank you also for your so nice comment in my blog about FIW.

    xoxo

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  13. Interesting lady, this one. I really like her work, even though I'm not usually a big fan of either red, strong colors or polka dots. -and it's so inspiring to hear how she don't let her illness stand in the way of her passion.

    <3

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  14. Very insteresting ; weird art but interesting...thanks to make me know this artist ;)

    a Bientot !

    Bouchra

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  15. That can be a tad scary to look at long..but definitely unique and quirky.

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  16. Can I just say that the second photo is beyond awesome?!?! I would loveee to blend into the background like that (but not army fatigue - can you think of any other print that could be so unattractive???).

    Love the throwback to Grandmaster Flash. :)

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  17. I never have heard of her before but she is totally fabulous!

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  18. Amazing,each is amazing. The second image is simply perfect.I agree with you on the dots always reaching that perfect medium. in her work its never over the top.
    muah
    marian

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  19. this is going to be the next of an explosive collaboration i'm sure...

    can't wait to see the final products

    *hearts*

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  20. Wow, her artwork is amazing. I love her second photo, and the sculptures in the last photo..

    xx- LJ from SOS!

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  21. Omg, the juxtaposition between her art and real life is a little bit sad and super fascinating.

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  22. I like her work a lot—I enjoy the repetition and vibrant colors. Thanks for the profile!

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  23. The fourth and fifth pictures remind me of a scene from Hitchhock's film Marnie.

    Robbie

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