Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Exposition by Japanese Artist Yayoi Kusama: DOTS OBSESSION

Shirley Monestier at exhibit of Yayoi Kusama
On July 19th, I visited an amazing Exposition by Japanese Artist, YAYOI KUSAMA:  DOTS OBSESSION (INFINITED MIRRORED ROOM) at the Centre D’Art Le Lait, Albi, France.

DOTS OBSESSION is an immersive work composed of mirrors and "molecules" swollen and standing in space, in a closed world. The infinite reflection mirrors, the obsessive use of white dots applied to organic shaped balloons and the bold color red fascinate and disturb one’s perception. The dotted motif covered the entire floor and ceiling of the expo room .. . the mirrored walls gave you a sense of being in space.  I felt totally immersed in the exposition ... what an experience!

Dots Obsession by artist Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama’s conception and futuristic vision for this installation is extraordinary!

This exposition has been traveling around the world for the past year.  I missed the expo when it was at the George Pompidou Centre in Paris but, fortunately, saw it in beautiful Albi.

Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama
Avant-garde artist and writer  Yayoi Kusama as born in 1929 — an inspiration to those who think age 60 or over means going to the pastures! Kusama is making a comeback at 86 years old. After she left New York in the early 1970s to return to Japan, Kusama was nearly forgotten by the art world.

Recently major retrospectives of her work have been held:

  • Museum of Modern Art - 1998
  • Whitney Museum - 2012
  • Tate Modern - 2012
  • George Pompidou Centre - 2012
In 2008 a painting by Yayoi Kusama was sold by Christie's New York for $5.1 million, then the most expensive painting sold by a living female artist.

Kusama started to paint with polka dots at 10 years old, and has worked in a variety of media including painting, collage, and sculpture. In the 1950s in the US, Kusama began creating large sculptures incorporating mirrors and lights. On her return to Japan in the 70s, Kusama won awards for her poetry and novels. She began doing large open-air works incorporating mirrors and lights in the 1990s. Today Yoyoi Kusama's retrospective exhibit Obsession Infinita is touring the world.

Yayoi Kusama: Dots Obsession will continue at the Centre D’Art Le Lait, in Albi, France through October 25, 2015. I hope you're able to visit and are as inspired as I am!

à la prochaine,


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Summer Activities to Nurture a Young Artist

When children are young, creating art is encouraged with abundant crayons, paper and praise. But as young children grow older, too often artistic activities are neglected in favor of academic projects. A career as an artist depends on many things, one being a nurturing environment to create art. Here are three activities you can do with your child this summer to create art and encourage creativity and expression.

3 Summer Kid's Projects to Develop Artistic Creativity

1.  Museum scavenger hunt: Take a field trip to your local art museum and hand your child a list of works or artists to find. Provide age-appropriate tips and tidbits as clues to find the artwork. For a pre-teen with a cell-phone try a clue like:

this pop artist is famous for his painting of a Campbell's soup can

2. Set up an easel in a park: Kids are used to drawing at home or 
viewfinder for outdoor drawingat school, drawing outside with an easel and pad is a totally different experience. Some children are easily distracted when asked to draw outside: a viewfinder to define the scene can be helpful.

Make your own viewfinder: a piece of 8x10 inch cardboard with a rectangle cut out as a window, about 3x4 inches. viewfinder instructions here

3. Draw a night scene: When children draw nature, they're 
typically encouraged to draw daytime scenes: flowers, sun, blue skies. Take advantage of the nice summer evening weather and (no morning school alarm) to draw night scenes, encouraging different colors and shading than daytime scenes.

For inspiration, discuss Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night.

I'd love to hear how you encourage art in children!
à la prochaine,