When you exit the elevator on the fourth floor of The Whitney and enter the current and well-talked about exhibition Yayoi Kusama you are presented with nine relatively small black and white photographs. So much of this show, and Kusama as of recent, has been publicized by color, three-dimensionality and, for lack of better word, loudness. These nine photographs are the antithesis of all of these qualities. Beside for a room that is more or less ephemera, where additional photographs line the walls, and the work Walking Piece, a series of slides, the medium does not hold the core of this fantastic show. However, the physical incarnation of the artist is both a beautiful prelude to the Kusama we meet throughout the rest of the fourth floor and a well thought out interlude in the exhibition.
So much of Kusama’s work and persona is performance based so it is no surprise that the photograph has been an active part of her career as a form of documentation of both her work and self and it also should be no great wonder that she still has so many of these photographs (as many are credited to the artist’s personal collection). Below is a small selection of some of these wonderful images.