Saturday, June 20, 2009

Artist Profile: Yoko Ono

There is so much to be said on legendary avant-garde artist Yoko Ono and her fascinating life. She entered the public eye as the wife of Beatle John Lennon, but was a successful visual and performance artist in her own right before meeting him. She had her first solo gallery show in 1961, a rarity for a woman artist during that era. Also a classically trained musician, Yoko recorded albums on her own as well as with Lennon.
One of the wonderful things about Yoko Ono's art is its inclusiveness. She urges her audience out of passive viewing and encourages them to participate in the creative process. For example in her book grapefruit: A Book of Instructions and Drawings by Yoko Ono the artist asks us to do such things as breathe, imagine ourselves as rubber, or cut a piece of paper. Her work really shifts the way one thinks about art. Ono's work ranges from minimalist text pieces to elaborate sculptures and outdoor installations.
Ono is also known for her performance pieces, one of the best known being Cut Piece where the artist sat on an empty stage fully clothed and invited members of the audience to cut her clothes off with scissors.

Yoko Ono lives and works in New York, and exhibits in museums and galleries worldwide. She still records music, and some of her earlier songs have been remixed and given new life as club anthems. She also rerecorded some of her songs with musicians such as Cat Power and The Flaming Lips for her recent album Yes, I'm a Witch . She's an art icon who constantly reinvents herself and pushes the envelope.

Learn more about Yoko Ono and her life's work:

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