Persistence of Vision: Documenting Yayoi Kusama's Art and History - Creative Planet Network
"This is the story of a trailblazer who had to overcome sexism, racism, and mental illness to pursue her dream of being an artist."

"When I first saw Kusama's art, I felt an instant connection to it," says Kusama—Infinity director Heather Lenz

Yayoi Kusama has created a legacy of artwork that spans the disciplines of painting, sculpture, installation art, performance art, poetry, and novels.

"This is the story of a trailblazer who had to overcome sexism, racism and mental illness to pursue her dream of being an artist," Lenz says about her documentary. "I hope people will find the film inspiring."

The career of artist Yayoi Kusama, says Andrew Parker, "is fascinating, infuriating, harrowing, and even a little bit hopeful, and it's eloquently outlined by filmmaker Heather Lenz.

"Lenz's fascination with Kusma began during her studies in art school," Parker continues, "and making a film about Yayoi became a passion project for the filmmaker that took nearly a decade to see to completion. 

"Talking with Kusama, art world professionals, and some of those closest to her, Lenz delivers a captivating account of a life that deserves as much recognition as the art that has been produced during the course of it." To read the full article, click here.

"Her art at the time was always for a select audience of people who were fortunate enough to find it," Lenz tells Parker. "It was never anything close to mainstream. But with the film you can share things with people in a way that a broader audience can see; the kind of audience that might not want to go searching in obscure art books and that sort of thing. 

Read more: How Yayoi Kusuma Channels Mental Illness Into Her Famous Artwork

"It was always my hope that the film would appeal beyond art enthusiasts. It's easy to understand a film about someone pursuing their dreams and all the obstacles one has to overcome." To read the full article, click here.

"The film witnesses Yayoi Kusama moving from obscurity in late 1950s New York City to international fame in recent years as the top-selling female artist in the world—all while living for the last 40 years in a mental institution," says Stephen Zacks. "More than two million visitors attended Kusama's traveling 2013–15 Infinite Obsession retrospective in South America, with Infinity Mirrors launching last fall and gaining a similarly massive reception in the United States. Endless lines snaked around the block at her recent show at David Zwirner gallery in Chelsea. 

Yayoi Kusama at work in 'Kusama—Infinity'

Yayoi Kusama at work in 'Kusama—Infinity'

"The film heightens the emotional resonance of this story with glimpses into her everyday life in Tokyo, where devoted assistants aid the 88-year-old artist in creating works composed of infinite matrixes of dots that are perfectly suited to the social media age." To read the full article, click here.

"Kusama is a wonderful combination of sensitivity and the power that comes with success," Lenz tells Seana Stevenson "Spending time with her was a privilege. I loved hearing her stories first hand. I particularly liked hearing about her experience during WWII, it made history so interesting. I really admire her tenacity and I'm thrilled that she is now getting the recognition she deserves." To read the full interview, click here.

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