|Kusama's The Statue of Venus Obliterated by Infinity Net|
Granted that her work evokes strong reactions and emotions, personally, the most surprising thing about Kusama is her longevity, how she remains relevant, nay even fashionable as evidenced by the Vuitton partnership, to this day. She's now 84 but her works, the older ones included, feel fresh and provocative even to a seemingly overly-Facebooked, Instagrammed and Twittered generation. Hard to imagine that her popularity took off in the 1950s and 60s when Minimalism, Feminism and Pop Art were the prevailing movements and here we are, 13 years into the new millennium and Kusama's art still has the energy to surprise and captivate.
|Death of a Nerve, installation, 1976|
|Kusama-inspired Louis Vuitton Handbag against the backdrop of Sex Obsession|
The watercolor pieces (circa 1978-81) are also some of the Camachos' favorites, owing to the fact that the medium clearly shows the artist's masterful hand, according to Ken Esguerra, Ayala Museum's Senior Curator and Head of Conservation. Hmmm, the volume of people during the launch prevented me from perusing these so that gives me an incentive to come back to do a more leisurely appreciation session (my idea of museum visits is to come when it's near-empty and let the pieces "talk" to me instead of the wholesale kind of art gawking; I'm sure Yayoi Kusama will agree).
|The omnipresent dots on yellow pumpkins|
|Yayoi Kusama in vivid colors (and dots, but of course)|
As part of the museum's efforts to educate the art fans and public, Akira Tatehata, one of the world's foremost experts on Kusama and curator of the Japanese Pavilion during the 45th Venice Biennale in 1993, has been invited to give a one-time lecture on August 10, 4PM at the museum ground floor lobby. A film screening of "Kusama Self Obliteration" and "I Adore Myself: Near Equal Kusama Yayoi" will be held on the evening of August 22 (time to be announced).
For details, call 757-7117 to 21, visit www.ayalamuseum.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org • Museum hours, 9AM - 6PM (Tuesday to Sunday) • Click here for location map.
Interesting reading for the Kusama-inclined: The Long, Strange Art and Life of Yayoi Kusama from the Hyperallergic site