Monday, 13 February 2012
Yayoi Kusama, 1961
Extract from Yayoi Kusama - Infinity Net: The Autobiography of Yayoi Kusama:
Dinner in those days might be a handful of small, shriveled chestnuts given to me by a friend. Sometimes I would gather discarded fish heads from the fishmonger's rubbish and carry them home in my rag bag, along with the rotting outer leaves of cabbages tossed out by a greengrocer. I would boil these into soup in a ten-cent pot from the junk shop and thus fend off starvation for another day.
Sometimes, when I felt miserable, I would make my way to the top of the Empire State Building. From there the vast, dazzling panorama of New York, the citadel of capitalism, with its glittering jewels and grand, swirling drama of praise and blame, still retained something of America's golden age, the pre-Vietnam era of prosperity and abundance. Looking down from the world's greatest skyscraper, I felt that I was standing at the threshold of all worldly ambition, where truly anything was possible. My hands are empty now, but I shall fill them with everything my heart desires, right here in New York. Such longing was like a roaring fire inside me. My commitment to a revolution in art caused the blood to run hot in my veins and even made me forget my hunger.