I am quite captivated by the recent collaboration between Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama and Louis Vuitton. I must say I find the marriage a little unsettling. Louis Vuitton recently unveiled their flagship Manhattan store on Fifth Avenue and London’s Selfridges. In total, there will be seven collaborations launching in 2012. Kusama is the latest artist to work with Mark Jacobs at Louis Vuitton. Jacobs is a longtime fan of Kusama and is captivated by the “obsessive character and the innocence of her art work.” The collaboration includes shoes, handbags, shirts, skirts, and sunglasses.
What I am most captivated with is Yayoi Kusama. For this 83 year old Avant garde artists, polka dots are her lifelong inspiration and obsession. Kusama entered the art scene during the 1960’s in New York among the likes of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol. She desired to become an important artist in the United States.
After moderate success in the state, Kusama returned to Japan due to a mental illness affliction. Kusama has had recurring hallucination of dots since her childhood. The dots she says, “Are my personal medicine. Since her return to Japan 40 years ago, Kusama has lived in a psychiatric hospital, by choice nonetheless. She commutes daily to her studio and works obsessively on her paintings.
Kusama’s collaboration with Mark Jacobs has given the artist international acclaim. The red wigged artist triumphantly returned to New York for an opening of her works at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Strangely enough, Kusama is enjoying the fame that has eluded her for 50 years due to a few polka dotted hand bags.
So when you see someone wearing the latest Louis Vuitton polka dotted accessories, you will know the deeper story behind the design. I like Kusama’s story because I believe we all have something to contribute even despite our idiosyncrasies.
images via: shefinds.com, freshnessmag.com