KUSAMA Princess of Polka Dots explores artist Yayoi Kusama's journey from a conservative upbringing in Japan to her brush with fame in America during the 1960s (where she rivaled Andy Warhol for press attention) and concludes with the international fame she has finally achieved within the art world. Now in her 80s, Kusama has spent the last 30 years living in a mental institution in Japan.Written by
Timely, revealing portrait of one of the most brilliant visual artists of our time
Heather Lenz directs an important, timely, and fascinating film about the now 89-year-old artist, Yayoi Kusama. A Japanese who in the early 1960s escaped her stifling family to begin her career in New York, where she innovated--as Lenz's film reveals--only to have her concepts and techniques stolen by the likes of Warhol, Oldenburg, et al. These men soon eclipsed her celebrity, and at her expense. Very critical correction of the historical record. Lenz also locates the origins of some of Kusama's visual motifs in childhood trauma, which had resulted in hallucinations and then obsession with hallucinated shapes and patterns. Kusama herself acknowledges as much and credits art-making with her survival. Her mirrored "infinity room" installations, giant polka-dotted pumpkins, and huge paintings covered obsessively with her personal iconography, now draw huge crowds at museums and galleries all over the world. Heather Lenz has not only drawn a powerful portrait of an artist whose late fame has intense cultural significance, but has also set a humanistic standard for the accounting of biographical details and, critically, for setting the historical record straight.
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