Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Kusama et Moi

A Marriage of Art & Luxe
On view at the Whitney Museum of American Art, is the art of a non-American. In fact, the artist is Japanese. Perhaps, because in the 60s and 70s, Yayoi Kusama was a glittering star of the avant-garde art world in New York City, she now qualifies to have her work at the Whitney. Or perhaps the juxtaposition of her art, and the luxury brand, Louis Vuitton, is too alluring to ignore.
She, and her work, are intense, compulsive, intricate, sexual, slightly psychotic and fashionable. If you doubt the fashion angle, trot yourself over to the corner of 57th and 5th Avenue to the Louis Vuitton store to experience the windows replete with polka dots and little replicas of Kusama. Venture inside to find a Kusama-Marc Jacobs collaboration at a counter displaying handbags, jewelry and shoes. Marc Jacobs has said he admires her "endless energy".
The Vuitton store gone dotty with Kusama dots.
A window at Louis Vuitton with little Kusama's parachuting from the sky.

Yayoi Kusama is 83 years of age. Since 1977 she has been living in a hospital in Japan. She works in a studio across the road from the hospital. She is one of Japan's most famous artists and has been working since the 1940s on painting, sculpture, drawing, collage and large-scale installations. 
A Kusama mannequin carrying a handbag which is for sale inside.
A collaborative installation with Louis Vuitton in their store.

Kusama-World at Vuitton
Oh dear. Eloise has escaped from the Plaza across the street.
 Note her diminutive Vuitton handbag.
The Vuitton store reflected in a Bergdorf Goodman window. 
Last Sunday I visited the Whitney with Richard and our friends, Jeff and Liz. I was dotted with a Tucker pant and a blue Tucker blouse. This is the lobby of the Whitney where they had hung huge, red and white polka dot balloons from the ceiling. Pictures of the exhibition are forbidden.
 The Danny Meyer restaurant, Untitled, on the lower level of the Whitney.

 A woman wearing Kusama-inspired attire waiting in line for the show.
Richard's sock, waiting in line for the show.
  A Japanese tourist took this picture in the gallery 
and insisted on emailing it to me.
Richard was dotty too in a Coton Doux shirt.
Les deux artistes. 
The Kusama After-Party
After seeing the Kusama exhibit, we thought a dinner of Japanese food would be apt. Our party of four taxied to 13th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, to savor the delectables at Miyagi, a quiet neighborhood restaurant.
We have been going to Miyagi for years and
 know the chef and the wait staff well. 
Our friend, artist Jeff Russell, contemplates
the sushi and sashimi platter.
Liz Russell, about to sample the red-bean
 and green-tea ice cream parfait.

 I have a part-time job delivering take-out for Miyagi.
 A lovely photo of a lovely couple.
Two suspicious lurkers on 13th Street.
Both are wearing Coton Doux shirts from France!

What's Rei Kawakubo up to?
I am feeling hopelessly thematic today, so it's off to Comme des Garçons in Chelsea to check out the latest dreamscape from Rei Kawakubo, the visionary behind the brand.
Comme des Garçons is housed in a former auto body shop.
Of course they left the sign up.
 Comme des Garçon's designer, Rei Kawakubo, is doing ungainly, fat shapes this season.
Imagine someone with stick legs wearing those pink shorts.
Photographs inside the store were forbidden, so I stepped
outside, and the sales people just
happened to be in a great place for a photo.
The cartoony pink outfit is made from felt. 
She is ready to gallop off with her pink jodhpurs on a polka-dot pony.
 The graffiti walls outside the store are a favorite place for photo ops.
 Agnès B blouse, Jacques Le Corre hat and glasses from Fabulous Fanny's.

 The Robert Miller Gallery on 26th street in Chelsea has
 this installation of Kusama shoes sprouting disturbing protuberances.
 Each one of these shoe sculptures costs $35,000.
Je ne vous kid pas.
 Also at Robert Miller, a show of Lee Krasner paintings.
And dots all folks!
À bientôt.

1 comment:

  1. What can I say. Every photo is a masterpiece. Loving the dots and your colorful hat!