“Everyone please convey my heart’s wishes and what I want to spread, which is love for the world and reverence for the universe. If you could sense something from these works than my efforts are really worth it.”
The video above comes from Bluouin ARTINFO and finds them speaking with avant-garde legend Yayoi Kusama while she was in New York City last year for her huge show at David Zwirner Gallery, “I Who Have Arrived in Heaven”. The 84-year-old artist was a counter-culture icon in 1960s New York, her polka-dotted work (including her body) providing a simple adornment for hippy “happenings” which she actively participated in. She went on to create work that was lumped into the pop art, minimalist, and surreal schools but these are not nearly as appropriate descriptors as the most obvious one: outside of categorization, they are above all Kusamas. Through the years her works always speak volumes in their very being about the joy of creating.
Although Ms. Kusama left New York for her native Japan due to health issues in the early 1970s she never eased up on her creative endeavors, creating piece after piece of forward-thinking, unique, personal artwork. It was no surprise then when she traveled back to the states for “I Who Have Arrived In Heaven”, which will more than likely be her final large-scale show, but what a show it was. The show utilized space in all three of the David Zwirner gallery spaces and included Infinity Mirrored Room – The Soul of Millions of Light Years Away (pictured), a projected video installation, Manhattan Suicide Addict, and dozens of large-scale square paintings depicting Ms. Kusama’s signature repetition of polka dots, circles, eyes, and other abstracted body parts in joyously rendered bright colors.
Take a look at the top of the this post and read that quote from the artist: I would encourage anyone who creates to be that vulnerable and that sincere about why they do what they do. By all accounts the show was an enormous success with people waiting in line for hours to see it throughout its entire run in New York. I hear that and I look at the work of this amazing woman and I truly hope that she knows that her efforts were worth it.