Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer that has embarked on her journey in the arts in the 1950’s . Kusama ventured the art worlds of both New York and Japan. At the age of 82, she continues to work and produce an expansive amount of visionary artwork.
Kusama exhibits her tantric interest in psychedelic colors, pattern and repetition through her most recent exhibit at the David Zwirner Gallery “ I Who Have Arrived in Heaven”, one of my favorite art exhibits of 2013.This spectacular artist is known to inspire the works of many famous artists including that of pop art legend Andy Warhol, and thus giving birth to the genre of pop art.
The “Infinity Room” is composed of a mirror lined kaleidoscope room with 75 colored LED bulbs flickering in different wavelengths. I spent 2 agonizing hours in a line in the pouring rain just to experience the magical room for a mere 45 seconds. However, the wait proved to be worth every second as I was allured with the fantasy-like room, and was completely mesmerized with the art. The room appeared to provide its visitors with an out of body experience, as you would just want to sit there in silence and let your mind get inspired. The “Infinity Room” proved to simultaneously have a very calming effect, stimulating your every sense.
Yayoi Kusama is famous for her brightly colored polka dots, a concept she came up with during the 1960’s.
A lot of her work is composed of her own hallucinatory fascinations that she has experienced since childhood. This includes the spots and the tentacle forms and the phalluses in her work. Yayoi Kusama admitted herself into a permanent psychiatric facility since 1973 and owns a studio close by the facility where she goes to create her art but self willingly wants to remain at the institution. It is amazing what the unsettled hallucinated mind can come up with and it is very fascinating to see the outcome of the extension of a mental disorder into the inspiring and stimulating bodies of artwork.
In honor of Yayoi Kasuma’s love for psychedelic colors and color combination I am wearing a colorful floral sweater from Ted Baker’s Spring 2014 collection and pleated leather skirt from Urban Outfitters. I am intrigued by how the display of the florals on the sleeves of the sweater give it an illusion of a tattooed arm sleeve.
Yayoi Kasuma has had many fashion collaborations, one of the most famous being her collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton in 2011. I first got introduced to Yayoi Kusama when watching the Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton documentary in 2007. Marc Jacobs pays a visit to Kusama in her studio in Japan with a line of leather goods, pret-a-porter, shoes and accessories. The ad campaign for the collaboration can be viewed below.
Photography by Jeffrey Thompson
Writing by Mona Hamid