I just finished the grisaille layer for Yayoi Kusama Squirrel, an artist I greatly admire and respect. Someone told me they see the shape that is formed similar to that of an elephant with tusks. Perhaps this is Yayoi’s animal spirit coming out.
Stay tuned for the finished piece in full colour.
This piece was inspired by Yayoi Kusama thematic interest in patterns and repetition. I wanted to merge Squirrealism into my portrait of her, but also break away from the traditional human body form typically found in my paintings. I was inspired to create the body form of this character using her polka dot “serpent-tentacles.”
Good bye squirrel / human.
Hello squirrel / snake.
Additionally, I found a great photo I had taken a few months ago. My friend was fooling around with some brown wrapping paper, and made a big flower around his head with it. It looked so cool, so I made him “freeze frame” and took a photo. Using this scrunched up flower made from wrapping paper, I then had the idea to layer Yayoi’s dots and circles over top of this giant misshaped material, providing Yayoi Kusama Squirrel her very own transgene, avante-garde look.
Yayoi Kusama (Kusama Yayoi?, born March 22, 1929) is a Japanese artist and writer. Throughout her career she has worked in a wide variety of media, including painting, collage, sculpture, performance art and environmental installations, most of which exhibit her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and pattern. A precursor of the pop art, minimalist and feminist art movements, Kusama influenced contemporaries such as Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenburg. Although largely forgotten after departing the New York art scene in the early 1970s, Kusama is now acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan, and an important voice of the avant-garde.