On this particularly special International Women’s Day, I would to share the work of one of my favorite (female) artists with you. Yayoi Kusama has been in my heart since I first learned about her work as a teenager. I remember my family being scandalized by a poster of her that I hung on my wall when I started art college. The poster showed one of her installations. A room filled with endless soft cloth organic forms covered in polka dots, so as to confuse the eye and obliterate any original detail of the room. And smack in the middle of the installation lay the wonderful Ms Kusama also covered in polka dots, stark naked, staring back at all of us. I loved that audacious poster, but it mysteriously disappeared as I packed to leave for the USA.
Last summer, Kusama’s work was the theme for one of the camps I ran. The kids loved watching time lapse videos of her Obliteration Room project, and wanted to do work inspired by it. I remember the man at the checkout of my local Staples store giving me strange looks as I hurriedly purchased the store’s entire stock of circle stickers for our Kusama project!
Imagine my delight this year, when I heard that there was going to be a huge Kusama exhibition at the Hirshhorn featuring her Infinity Room installations. I squealed like a piglet and pounced on those tickets as fast as can be. On the day of our visit, my daughter and I wore polka dot shirts, and polka dot earrings. I behaved like a child with a triple chocolate sundae and a free pass to Disney World, and could not believe that I was so close up to the hallowed work that I had previously only seen in videos and photos.
There is something about Kusama’s work that appeals to me instantly on the most basic level, even before I start reading into its many layered meanings. My kids and husband were mesmerized as well. Her paintings and drawings are just beautiful and I felt freshly inspired walking out of the exhibition. I came home and wanted to start drawing and painting straight away.
The pictures I took at the Hirshhorn are below:
I have been having a tough time at work lately, and have been unable to make much progress with my projects. This exhibition gave me a few jolts of energy, and made me want to create again. It is ever so important to take some time out of your daily grind every now and then, and go and do something that will amaze and inspire you. Whether it is going to a concert, hiking in a beautiful place, listening to someone inspiring talk, or going to a gallery. Whatever floats your boat, go and do it, hit that restart button for yourself and stop yourself from going dotty. If you are a woman, International Women’s Day may be just the day to do that!
Have a great day and much love to you.