A DREAM I DREAMED
“ More and more, I think about the role of the arts, and as an artist, I think that it’s important that I share the love and peace.”
Kusama suffered emotional trauma in her childhood, which resulted in hallucinations and mental instability. From a young age, painting served as a salvation for the artist and a means of escape from the toil of reality. “A Dream I Dreamed” transforms the space into an imaginary playground of polka dots, mirrors, and colors. It is a visually arresting roundup of works from Kusama’s vast oeuvre that harnesses the phantasmagoric world of an artist whose imagination captures the hearts of so many.
“ I put polka dots all over my body and then cover my background completely with polka dots. The polka dots on my body, merging with those in the background, create an optically strange scene.”
Dots Obsession visually approximates the hallucinations Kusama reportedly suffered as a child, in which the entirety of her surrounding space was covered with repeating patterns. The installation also reveals the artist’s careful attention to the construction of space through color and form and to the play of light and perspective accomplished by repeating a few simple devices — creating an immersive experience from red paint, white dots, giant balloons and strategically placed mirrors.
When Kusama was ten years old, she began to experience hallucinations which she has described as “flashes of light or dense fields of dots” These hallucinations also included flowers that spoke to Kusama. Patterns in fabric that she stared at coming to life, multiplying, and engulfing or expunging her, a process which she has carried into her artistic career and which she calls “self-obliteration”.She was reportedly fascinated by the smooth white stones covering the bed of the river near her family home, which she cites as another of the seminal influences behind her lasting fixation on dots.