Yayoi Kusama at Selfridges, London 2012
I was on a bus travelling along Oxford Street when this ginormous red statue urged me to take a snap of it with my phone. What was she doing there?
When I returned a few weeks later I discovered that the giant red woman was part of Selfridges’ window display and she was designed by the Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.
Kusama is a conceptual artist who was born in Japan in 1929. So she was 82 when she created these very contemporary shop window designs. Polka dots and the avant garde appealed to her sensibilities more than traditional Japanese art. She spent a period of time in the US and Europe during the 1960s. And as well as creating sculpture, paintings and films, she started her own fashion range which included handbags.
Kusama no longer has her own fashion company, instead she teams up with establish brands. She has designed for Lancome, Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton. These window displays were to sell her handbag range for Vuitton.
I thought it was pretty amazing for a woman in her 80s to still be working like this. I had no idea who she was until I researched her for my blog.
Curating my blog in 2014: original post has been revised
Two days ago I saw that someone had viewed this page. And I was pleased because the Kusama window displays were very impressive. I had a look at the original post for myself and I saw it with fresh eyes. I’ve been constantly photographing and blogging weekly for two years now and my critical powers have improved. I’ve cut out the weaker shots entirely. And then I worked on the ones I liked in iphoto to improve the colour balance and eliminate some reflections. Two years on and I realised that what interested me then and now is Kusama as an artist. I enjoy her ironic take on the followers of fashion. And these 9 photographs portray my feelings about her work.
This last photograph was one of those moments of street photography serendipity. The woman was right outside the Selfridges’ window displays of Louis Vuitton bags, happily looking at her new handbag from Primark.