Friday, May 3, 2013

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession (1998)

Yayoi Kusama, Dots Obsession (1998) is something that I studied in my Color Theory class about a year ago. Ironically, her instillations only really focus on two different colors rather than many, but because they are instillations, they create much more dimensions of color than one may suspect on first glance. The shadows and light and strak contrast between colors create a complex which makes one think differently about dots, as well as the use of the two (usually primary) colors which are there. Additionally, polka dots are a somewhat standard print which has been around for a while. It does not take an art master to find something which is covered with the print. But Kusama's art is not simply polka dots. Her dots reflect more the kind of dots in nature, leading the viewer to make their own distinctions and interpretations. For myself, each time I look at the dots I have a different experience. It has ranged from seeing them as the inside of a cartoon mushroom to the inside of blood vessels in the human body. One fantastic part of instillations is that by forcing so much an idea or concept in the viewer's face, it forces some opinion or reaction. Whether for good or bad, people will come out of the exhibit with an impression left on them.

I also found it interesting that Kusama actually collaborated with Louis Vuitton, an expensive designer brand that often rides the line between mainstream and avant garde depending on it's collections. Again, in this collaboration Kusama focused on dots, but they were put on top of the iconic labels of the LV brand. It was to some, an odd pairing, but I believe that it is a great example of how Kusama's art is really present, and a display of her obsession. To me, it offers up a little commentary on addition. If one were to be so infatuated with something that it infiltrates their life and shows up on their purse, it is an obsession for certain.

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