If you haven’t seen any of the works by Yayoi Kusama, you’re delusional. You probably have.
Yayoi Kusama was a revolutionary artist. She aimed to create liberation, a freedom that made art equally accessible for all throes of life. She was a Japanese installation artist, painter and event organizer.
Not only did she create wicked mind-blowing pieces of art but also revolutionised the 60’s with her contribution to sexual liberation through installation and paint. This includes sex orgies.
She literally organised orgies in New York City in which during these she would walk up to a couple or group doing the “hoo-ha” and paint their naked flesh with coloured polka dots.
You can see it in her video “Self-Obliteration” below. Skip to 20.30 (R18)
If you look close enough you can see little Kusama running around with her paint pots.
Other than her contribution to the sexual liberation Kusama created some super inspirational works that look both cool, and have good political endorsement behind them. Here is my top 3…
This is the part where Kusama gets to the nitty gritty and focuses on the separation of sex and love through liberation. In association with the above short film you now know that Kusama is a sterling advocate for the liberation of sex. She does just that in her series of installations, marches and interviews condoning the freedom of people and sex. She highly influenced a shit ton of other liberated people as a result.
“Narcissus Garden” Kusama participated for the first time in the 33rd Venice Biennale. In this she created hundreds of mirrored spheres that when peered into, reflected the world around you. While they are pretty cool the exciting part of this work was that Kusama then sold them off to the public for $2(US) to endorse the opinions she held of total spiritual freedom and liberation of art. Venice welcomed this new idea and the “Narcissus Garden” joyously, all the price of a packet of crisps.
“Mirror Rooms”This is “A concrete metaphor of expanded reality”. Basically don’t go in if you’re high. The eccentric colours incorporated into this are all expanded into a never-ending expanse of light. This is, of course just a room filled with mirrors and LEDs but its reputable ability to whack people out of their minds is overwhelming.
Nowadays Kusama chills in Japan where she has permanent residency in the Seiwa Hospital for the mentally ill. If you wanna visit.
She’s still churning out the paintings though, and currently has an exhibition in New York. Go check it if you’re there.
519 & 525 West 19th Street, David Zwirner, New York
May 9 – June 13, 2015
– Elise Hislop