Thursday, July 19, 2012


With the opening of her retrospective at the Whitney Museum and the launch of her collaboration with Louis Vuitton, Yayoi Kusama's unconventional career has been widely discussed and re-interpreted.

What I've always admired about Kusama's work is that there is literally no distinction between her work and her life--it is one and the same.

This article provides an abbreviated overview of Kusama's life and career, describing her rise to NYC art world stardom in the Sixties, return to Japan as a "national disgrace" and institutionalization in the Seventies, and finally, her rediscovery in recent years.

When Kusama (b. 1929) arrived in New York from Japan in the 1960s at the recommendation of Georgia O'Keeffe, she discovered an audience for her art of "self-obliteration" that was unlike anything she experienced in Japan.

Kusama created drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations, happenings, and films, describing her work as "art medicine", and simultaneously blurring the boundaries between art and life.

Throughout the following decade, her popularity rose and fell, leading her to eventually return to Japan and voluntarily enter a mental institution, which she still frequents.

"I fight pain, anxiety, and fear every day, and the only method I have found that relieves my illness is to keep creating art."  --Yayoi Kusama

Kusama fell off of the art world radar for some time, until she was "rediscovered" in the 1990s.  She continues to live her art on a daily basis, and is an inspiration for those who wish to give voice to the way they see the world.

Kusama's retrospective is on view at the Whitney Museum through September 30, and her Louis Vuitton collection is now available.

I'm wearing a vintage dress from Beacon's Closet, H&M necklace, and Salvatore Ferragamo sandals.

Photos by @kay_elle_pea at Pier 45, Hudson River Park, NYC, the future site of the Whitney Museum, and current site of Kusama's installation Guidepost to the New Space, 2004.

[Kusama images from,,,,,, and, respectively.]

Monday, July 16, 2012

10th TRIBE

10th Tribe is a new line of clothing created in New York City with a Minimalist aesthetic and wear-everyday quality.

Robert Ryman, Archive, 1980

When I was introduced to their signature line, I noted the stark contrasts and monochromatic palette that is also characteristic of the work of Robert Ryman.

Ryman (b. 1930) is a minimalist artist who paints primarily in monochrome, focusing on the materials used in painting rather than depicting a subject.

Robert Ryman, Series #33 (White), 2004

Much like the Ryman's paintings, the 10th Tribe collection focuses on the material of the garments rather than print or style.

With geometric lines and the occasional faint cross design, each piece in the 10th Tribe collection exists as a monochrome and reflects the modern simplicity of the brand.

Robert Ryman, Classico 5, 1968

See my related outfit posts here: Piero ManzoniFrank Stella.

[Ryman images from and; 10th Tribe images from]

Thursday, July 12, 2012


When I came across this dress, the layered, petal-like hem and rosy hue called to mind the flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe.

O'Keeffe (1887-1986) is widely regarded as one of the most important American artists of the 20th century, notable not only for her paintings of stark landscapes and larger-than-life blooms, but also as a woman who rose to renown in a male-dominated field.

Throughout her life, she lived and worked all over the country, depicting her natural surroundings from Illinois to New York, South Carolina, Virginia, Hawaii, Texas, and, finally, New Mexico.

Married to famed photographer and gallerist Alfred Stieglitz, O'Keeffe was also closely associated with other American modernists such as Charles Demuth, Arthur Dove, and Marsden Hartley.  See my Dove post here and Hartley post here.

O'Keeffe's most well-known works are her close-up views of nature, such as the flower paintings depicted here.

There have been many varied readings of O'Keeffe's flower paintings, particularly related to the feminist art movement of the 1970s, and the flowers' innate sensuality.  O'Keeffe maintained that her work simply existed to confront the viewer with the enchantment of nature.

"I decided that if I could paint that flower in a huge scale, you could not ignore its beauty." --Georgia O'Keeffe

I'm wearing a dress courtesy of sway chic, necklace from H&M, and Boutique 9 shoes.
Photos by @kay_elle_pea on the High Line.