Completely Dotty

Yayoi Kusama, detail Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland: With Artwork by Yayoi Kusama, Penguin, 2012

Yayoi Kusama, detail Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: With Artwork by Yayoi Kusama, Penguin, 2012

“If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago.” Yayoi Kusama

On the subject of being crazy and creating mind-blowing art let’s talk Yayoi Kusama.

She came to prominence in the 70’s when she staged Body Festivals – naked people walking around clothed only in painted polka dots. And since then the dots have not stopped.

Polka dots are a way to infinity. Yayoi Kusama

Kusama leads the avant-garde contemporary art world. She checked herself into a Japanese mental institution in 1973 and since 1977 has called it home. She is escorted each day to her studio and is walked back to the hospital at night.

The Whitney now features an eye-popping retrospective of her work which you can browse when you click the picture above.  She’s a published poet and novelist. Louis Vitton partnered with her to make this fall’s hottest, spotted accessories.

Her latest work sold for $5.1 M, the highest amount for a living female artist.

Don’t know about you, but that doesn’t seem too crazy to me. Just badass.


Wriggle Room

Fran Shalom, Wiggleroom, 2011

Fran Shalom, Wiggleroom, 2011

If you haven’t papercut your pinky on the slim corner of sanity, then maybe you aren’t pushing the life envelope hard enough. Or maybe you have solid mental health genes (also good). This painting reminds me of the daily tip-toe tripping of the mental health wire and our need to balance out these “wiggles.”

The background color – this minty pea soup green – is also the color of the walls of the mental hospital one of my best friends stayed in. Checked in to that facility to get the wiggles out. But it’s very routine in there, no wiggle room. Only pills, clocks and talks. If you have the dough. The bill alone could drive you nuts.

I have the distinct impression that these deep purple wiggles will not be worked out. Are the green walls giving structure to the wiggles, lending a stable hand? Or are the wiggles encroaching on the green walls in a slow-mo land grab? Is it a stalemate, a writhing truce with ground being lost and gained in equal measure. Or a protracted battle of attrition with sanity as the long shot?

Don’t miss the red dots which could be game changers. Stabilizers or trauma points? Although they may just be ticklish.

I just found out wriggle and wiggle aren’t interchangeable (though I did it anyway). Wiggle is a back and forth movement. Wriggle is a turning twisting movement a.k.a. to squirm.

So there is wriggle room in a wiggle room. But not the other way around. Drives me crazy.