"My art has its roots in my hallucinations, which only I see. I translate hallucinations and obsessive images, that irritate me, into paintings and sculptures. All my pastels are products of obsessive-compulsive neurosis and are therefore inextricably linked to my illness. But I create something even when I don't see hallucinations."
As one of the most recognizable and famous artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, the Japanese Yayoi Kusama, born more than 91 years ago, is developing her own creative language, which she speaks in the world not only of contemporary art, but also of fashion, design and literature, and even politics.
Recognizable by the “preserved" ornament of multicolored or monochrome circles, which is why she received the nickname "Polka Dot Queen", as well as by legendary pumpkins and famous large-scale installations - today it is not so easy to find a person who at the sight of these creations not to exclaim: "Oh! Kusama!"
Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto (Nagano, Japan) on March 22, 1929 to a conservative family.
From her childhood, abused by her mother, she began to suffer from hallucinations, obsessive images and thoughts. On the advice of a psychiatrist, she began painting as a child and began to depict the same dots on different types of surfaces, which later became her most recognizable image: white dots on a red background.
transfer of this style to painting, interior design and clothing in the United
States is partly seen as a form of minimalism, and the artist herself prefers
the term "an infinity net."
In 1948, Yayoi left home to enroll at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts, where she studied the Nihonga style (literally translated from Japanese as "Japanese painting") for a year.
later said, "When I think about my life in Kyoto, it starts to make me
sick," and recalls that she hates the so-called "Iemoto", i.e.
the traditional Japanese educational system, which presupposes a certain
subordination and the "master-student" relationship.
After a year at the art school, Kusama began experimenting with styles, and by 1950 she was painting her famous white circles on a red background, which she said were derived from her hallucinations. She later recalled: "Once I was looking at a tablecloth with a red flower. Looking up, I suddenly saw the same flowers covering the ceiling, the windows, the walls, the whole room, my body, and the Universe.
I felt that I was destroying myself, dissolving into the infinity of time and space, becoming Nothing. I realized that this was not happening in my imagination, but in reality, and I was scared."
The American artist Georgia O'Keeffe had a huge influence on the work of the young artist, whose works impressed Yayoi so much that she wrote several letters to her idol and unexpectedly received a response. As a result of this correspondence in 1957, the 27-year-old Japanese woman arrived in the United States, although her mother strongly opposed it, saying that she should never return.
Kusama lied to the Japanese authorities that she was expected in the
United States for her first solo exhibition, and due to a ban on the country
exporting large sums, she sewed some of her money into the lining of her dress
and shoved the other into the toes of her shoes. The artist proudly set foot on
American soil with more than 2,000 of her works and 6 dozen kimonos………………….
ET UN LIVRE RECOMMANDÉ PAR LES RENCONTRES PHILOPHIQUES DE MONACO