Tea Time in Wonderland

The 86 year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has been named the most popular living artist today by The Art Newspaper. Instantly recognizable with her dot-patterned works, Kusama is a precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements and has influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol.

Who:  The Modern Alice in Wonderland

What:  Fabulous polka dots

Where: From Tokyo with love

While Kusama’s style doesn’t directly relate to fashion, she did lend her hand to a wildly successful fashion collaboration with Louis Vuitton. Launched in 2012, the Kusama collection included ready-to-wear and accessories, and was a joint effort between the artist and then-designer Marc Jacobs. The meeting of the two popular creatives was documented in 2007’s Marc Jacobs & Louis Vuitton documentary, where the reserved artist bonded with Jacobs in her Tokyo studio.

According to figures, her travelling retrospective Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Obsession attracted the biggest global audience of art fans last year. The show attracted more than two million visitors as it hopped across countries in South America, drawing an average of about 9,000 people a day.

Kusama is also known as “the princess of polka dots” but we rarely look to her struggles with depression or perceptions of “reality”. These aspects of the artist’s life have thus far been masked within her work, expressed through use of clashing colors and hypnotizing primitivist patterning – all of which harken to Kusama’s childhood struggles with self-obliteration. Filmmaker and director Martín Rietti sat down with the visionary hoping to explore Kusama’s mind and thought process while continuing to produce some of the most innovative work today. In this film the artist explains why her life is at the mercy of her art.

 

Bonus: Clooney x Kusama for W magazine Dec 2013/ Jan 2014 issue.

 

Cyril Jordil

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