When the models were set up for the paintings, the way that the male model was positioned and looking at the female model made me feel that the painting should be about the Woman. I wanted to make the center of attention her face and focus on how her body posture was relaxed and untensed at the gaze of a male. As I started to paint, I found myself wanting to use strong reds on the Woman to bring attention to her and use a silhouette to represent the male. And also adding pomegranates and tulips to symbolize femininity in this painting. I wanted to use smooth brush strokes to bring out the details in the drapery and even the textures on the skin because I felt like rough or violent strokes were not necessary. The smooth strokes helped to mimic a bit of renaissance paintings, just done without high contrast and more colors. In general, this work gives full attention to the woman, with the three main subject matters all in red to bring out the commonality within the subjects and further emphasize on the femininity in this work.
First Night Painting:
Recognising the colors in the dark was the hardest for me, knowing which greys and which reds to pick were not very obvious too because of the light conditions at the scene. Fun for a first try at night painting but the next time I’ll be sure to straighten out the lines of the buildings.
first white still life painting:
I tried to focus mainly on the corners and making it interesting, cropping the image close to the pipe and having the cloth zig zag at the bottom and the edges of the block and the painting almost align. i feel that it made the painting alot more fun, with angles and lines flying around instead of something safer with horizontal and vertical lines. I kind of like that it doesn’t have an extremely clear distinct of what is in the foreground and the background, it makes the painting flow easier for me.
The object I chose from my childhood is a book, placed on bed sheets and a cup of tea not far from it. Growing up, I was a bookworm. The first series I got really hooked onto was the Harry Potter Series. I moved on quickly to other novels but of all, my favorite genre was fantasy. By age 16, I read a new book every 3 days and after the end of my national examination, I busted my eyesight reading so much over the holidays. It was always me and these novels and especially at night, where the world was quiet and everyone was asleep.
1st Room: Love Forever
- What techniques is Kusama using to unifying her canvases?
Black and white shapes and lines and dots
- Describe her use of space?
She fills it up almost completely
- What emotional responses do you have when standing in front of her paintings? Can you observe anything about the relationship of the size of the paintings to your own body?
It feels Creepy, looks almost obsessive, intense. It is slightly smaller than the length of my body but the width of the painting almost wraps around my head in an overwhelming manner.
- What do the marks and forms in these black and white paintings remind you of?
Eyes / scribblings / eyes / cells / anatomy / plants
2nd Room: Tulip Room Walk into the Tulip Room
- How does your emotional response change going from Love Forever to the Tulip Room?
dull to bright / instantaneous lift in spirits / light
- Does the Tulip Room evoke any memories? What are the sculptural forms telling you?
alice in wonderland (proportion) / psychedelic and light / like in a dream / they are dynamic and interacting with each other, appear to be vigorous and growing in the room
3rd Room: My Eternal Soul: Walk into the room My Eternal Soul
- Compare the use of color to the Black and White painting in Forever Love. How does the color effect you differently? How do you feel?
Expresses more positive emotions / quirky instead of creepy / gives more life
- What techniques does Kusama use to unity the color canvases?
dots / bright solid colors / flat canvas / patterns / textures
- Compare the rt & left walls. What are the difference in the emotions evoked by these different walls?
Dark and menacing (black sharp) vs psychedelic and faded (no black)
4th Room: Narcissus Garden
- What differences do you see between experiencing the Narcissus Garden on its own and knowing/imagining Kusama’s actions during the Venice Biennale where she wore the kimono and sold the balls. Please read the wall information about the performance.
The narcissus garden seems more like a reflection of self instead of what she tried to convey about the buying and selling of art.
Room 5: Early Works
- What painting techniques is Kusama using in the 1st five small paintings? What types of marks are used?
Stifling / dots / ink on paper
- What is meant by the term “Repetitive All-over Approach”?
surfaces are always covered in arrays of dots or nets and are hallucinations
- Compare your emotional responses of the white Infinity Net paintings to the color Infinity net paintings on the opposite walls. What happens when you stare at these paintings?
colored ones are more intense / feels more tiring to look at / poisonous looking / light ones bring attention to the craft
- Describe 1 or 2 of the infinity Net paintings
Subject-content-materials and techniques
instead of painting dots in positive space, she paints the negative space instead. the transparency of the paint gives the work a depth that is unlike her other paintings. instead of obliteration she now seems to be highlighting the differences in the already similar infinite space. the choice of color seems to follow her style of loud and bright colors and the dots still are painted with an obsessive repetition but appears less intense as compared to the black dots seen before. the endless dots does convey a sense of infinity
Death of a Nerve:
- How does the title effect your understanding and response to the piece?
It helps me to associate the ropes to nerves, the death and limpness of a dead idea / draped up in a sickly way like meat
- Kusama’s pumpkins represent “comfort and security” for her. (Please read the wall information) Talk about an object that would serve as a meaningful representation of a part of your past or signifies your family history. What is the object and why?
reminds of a childhood past time on Sundays to the beach
When I heard the shamanistic drumming, I visualised the sounds in shapes and then in color. I thought of the drum beats as consistent ripples and soundwaves—as the next and the next and the next began, the
vibrations overlap onto each other. As I listened on, the deep resounding drumbeats began to fade into the background and I heard flatter sounds from the drum rim and they seemed to float to the surface. These sounds were shorter and were sharper in shape. As I painted this work, it turned out exactly as I felt. I began with the constant, concentric circles that represented the drum beats just as I first heard them. It was repetitive and almost meditative drawing it over and over and over. Then, just like I heard, I started to space out the circles and move over to sharper shapes with color to represent the flatter tappings I heard. The colors yellow and red immediately float onto the surface of the work, but the translucency of the paint allows the lines of the circles to still be seen and the entire work still gels together like the sounds I heard.