Heather Lenz’s film is a brief, celebratory introduction to the work of Japan’s biggest-selling living artist: 89-year-old Yayoi Kusama. She rebelled against her stiflingly reactionary upbringing in provincial Matsumoto for a lifelong adventure in art. With vast, tapestry-like canvases and witty soft-material sculptures she experimented in abstract impressionism, pop art, and also live public-space happenings involving the naked body. Her career really began in New York, where she became a succès de scandale in the counter-culture scene, but she returned in early middle age to Matsumoto, where she had been widely reviled for her controversial artworks. In many ways, this is a story of a woman who had to fight her way to the top all over again, having battled depression, the complacent sexism and bland bigotry of the New York scene, and then finally the aghast conservatism of Japan.
I would have liked to hear more personal detail about the artist....
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