Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation, but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. (Via Wikipedia)
Why I love her:
I had never even heard of Kusama until I was visiting the Pompidou in Paris where they were exhibiting a retrospective of her artwork. I remember walking into a hallways with her giant paintings and immediately feeling overwhelmed with emotion. It’s hard to say what sort of emotion: somewhere between feeling small and lost in a colorful polka dot void. Rarely do I have such a visceral reaction to paintings, but that emotion has stuck with me for a long time. Her installations are equally powerful. She transforms spaces into a weird mind-bending alternate dimensions that displace the viewer (in a good way).
I really hope that someday I will be able to see her Infinity Mirror Room collection at the Broad in Los Angeles. When I went soon after the Broad’s opening, the wait time to go into the room was over 5 hours. Not going to lie, it made me very sad, but at the same time, I’m really glad that so many people will be introduced to this amazing artist. The Infinity Mirror Room is also a great place for people to take art selfies, which adds another layer and complexity to the public’s art appreciation. This is particularly interesting to me as Kusama’s work is about self-obliteration and very much anti-ego. This interplay of social media best virtual self and artwork with the opposite in mind is very intriguing to me.
I’ve always wanted to do a speed painting of my artwork. I’ve finally acquired everything to do so. I got a camera to stream my artwork, but for right now it seems more feasible to just record it, speed it up and throw it up on my youtube channel.
I really like the way this piece turned out. If you are interested in buying this piece, please click here.
Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists not only for her amazing use of color in her paintings, but also for her life story and determination.
Born to a German father and a mestiza mother, Kahlo spent most of her childhood and adult life at her family home in Coyoacán, La Casa Azul, now known and publicly accessible as the Frida Kahlo Museum. She was disabled by polio as a child. Until a traffic accident at age eighteen caused lifelong pain and medical problems, she had been a promising student headed for medical school. During her recovery, she returned to her childhood hobby of art with the idea of becoming an artist. (From Wikipedia)
Kahlo is known for her self-portraits (much like Rembrandt). However, unlike other artists, she expresses her inner turmoil through more poetic painting through iconography rather than dramatic lighting.
I love that Rembrandt was unafraid to use heavy shadow in his paintings. The darkness is used strategically to bring the viewer’s eye to the focus. This is the chiaroscuro effect that I am a huge fan of.
His self-portraits are absolutely stunning and it’s really cool to see his evolution through his self-portraits. I am always inspired to start painting self-portraits again whenever I look at this Dutch master.
He wasn’t just a painter. He was also a printmaker! They had a collection of his etchings in Boston a few years back which I was very happy to see! I love his swagger in this one:
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing a lot of Rembrandt work in person in Amsterdam at the Rijksmuseum. I also made sure to go to his house which is maintained as a museum.