It’s hard to imagine any artist throughout history anywhere near her age who has so dominated the cultural zeitgeist as has Yayoi Kusama these last several years. Indeed, having turned 91 in March (and probably celebrating very well, as Japan did not impose a formal coronavirus lockdown), she has spanned the globe with sold-out exhibitions, mostly of her fantastical Mirror Rooms—which we experienced at the Lille3000 art festival in France in 2019—and has deftly crossed pop cultural lines in the process.
Her latest? A colorful collab with French Champagne house Veuve Clicquot, for which she has applied her signature aesthetic to the packaging and bottle of the brand’s prestige cuvee, La Grand Dame. The box itself features her signature polka dots in radiant orange, matched by a drawing of her also signature floral sculptures.
She has dramatically and romantically titled the project My Heart That Blooms in The Darkness of The Night, which is not just an off-the-cuff attempt at verbal opulence. Rather, the flower is meant to symbolize life, love and peace…and so it is particularly poignant at a time when more than 900,000 people around the globe have died from coronavirus this year, and a heightened level of divisiveness rules the global conversation.
The flower is also meant to mirror the strength and delicacy of La Grande Dame cuvée, the current vintage of which dates to 2012. Ideologically, of course, Champagne has always stood for optimism and overcoming challenges—considering the losing side is not known for popping a cork to follow defeat. Of course, we welcome all the optimism we can get right now, and certainly would love nothing more than to be celebrating a victory over the many forces of darkness and destruction that have beset us on all sides in throughout 2020.
If it even need be said, it also just looks beautiful—especially the limited edition packaging of the bottle tucked into a custom created flower sculpture, which reminds us of nature’s embrace, both cosseting and yet ever primal. There were only 100 made, but the chance to own a Yayoi Kusama sculpt for just $30,000 is not to be taken lightly.
Those satisfied, however, with merely owning a bottle of La Grande Dame cuvée in the strikingly designed Kusama box can grab one off the shelves in early October for just $195. But, surely, you’re not actually going to drink it.