Yayoi Kusama turns 90 years old
On Friday, March 22, Yayoi Kusama, the most famous Japanese artist of our time, turned 90 – and continues to work on the punctualization of the world.
The stubbornness with which the young Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama bucked all trends in 1950s New York is breathtaking. From the very beginning, she placed a second layer of perception over reality. She painted monochromatic, potentially infinite net structures, the early “Infinity Net” paintings, carried them all over Manhattan to museums – and back to her studio again, because no one was interested in them in the days of abstract expressionism.
Then, in the 1960s, she added dots, which she scattered over people, objects, and spaces, sometimes in police procedural sex happenings. Since her youth, Kusama had suffered from hallucinations; from her own unstable system of perceiving the world, she developed a unique experience of space and body for all: “For example, when I paint my entire body with dots and also put dots on the background, it’s an act of self-erasure.”
Underlying her idea of covering the entire world with a pattern is less an egomaniacal delusion than a loving and peaceful notion of equality and unity. At first glance, the turbo-marketing of Kusama’s look from catwalk to museum store may not quite fit in with this. At second glance, however, it does: only mass products can help the world finally score completely.