Friday, 8 July 2016

The Bonkers Art of Yayoi Kusama

This week my family visited the Modern Art Museum in Stockholm, to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibition. I had heard great things about it so my expectations were high. That is never a good starting point for anything, because in my experience, the reality rarely lives up to the expectations. Such was to be the case again...
Things started well, we ate the most delicious food in the outside cafe and I liked the trees wrapped in spotty fabric...

The theme of spots was to continue in obsessive fashion...


Which was sometimes quite fabulous....
video

And other times just silly... ok, these are not polka dots exactly but a room full of silver balls ? I don't get it.

But at least is wasn't actually disgusting, unlike the room full of phallic growths... clusters of them, protruding and bursting through things and encrusting things in a most disgusting fashion. I couldn't bare to look at most of them but I had to take a photo of one of the lesser revolting pieces just to show you what I mean... Phallus encrusted shoes and ladder on a bed of pasta...Now there is just no need for this is there? Yes, I understand that in the 60's feminism was a big topic and I can totally empathise with the position that masculinity dominated everything and the male perspective permeated every part of life. This, combined with the artists general disgust of the male anatomy (apparently) would result in this kind of art. I get all that, but I don't like the feeling of disgust. I feel it on a near daily basis looking at the news. I would rather the artist had cooked the pasta and fed it to the hungry. Now that art I could get behind! 


Yayoi Kusama is a very intriguing character, born in 1929 and still painting today, albeit from a mental hospital in Tokyo where she voluntarily admitted herself in 1977 and has been living ever since...very eccentric, to put it mildly. She suffered from hallucinations since her childhood and clearly some kind of mental instability, but successfully channelled that into artistic creativity, and is widely thought of as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan...respect.

There was actually one piece of art that I quite liked, which did not have a single spot or phallus on it, just lovely colours and natural forms...




...but in truth, the best part of the day was going through Kungstragården T-bana underground station. I love it in there! So weird... but in the way I understand which is dark, moody, atmospheric, surreal and most importantly... beautiful.

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