Ever since her childhood — when her mother would send her out to spy on her father as he indulged himself with a succession of lovers — her life has been more extraordinary than any scriptwriter could imagine.
And, even at 94, superstar Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, who earlier this year bedecked the façade of Harrods with her iconic paint blobs, has lost none of her gift for contriving marmalade-dropping moments.
Indeed, this time Kusama has sent shock-waves through Tate Modern, where visitors can currently experience two of her captivating Infinity Mirror Rooms — respectively entitled Filled With The Brilliance Of Life and Chandelier Of Grief.
Grief seems to be coming out on top — certainly to some of those who’ve delved into Kusama’s literary output, notably her autobiography, Infinity Net.
Written 20 years ago, but now attracting profound scrutiny, the memoir refers to the ‘distinctive smell’ of black New Yorkers and their ‘animalistic sex techniques’, before Kusama laments that the area of Greenwich Village where she used to live has become a ‘slum’ beset by collapsing property prices, caused by ‘black people… shooting each other’.
Kusama, who began drawing in war-ravaged Japan and offered to sleep with President Nixon if only he’d end the Vietnam conflict, is full of remorse.
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama has lost none of her gift for contriving marmalade-dropping moments.
Kusama has sent shock-waves through Tate Modern, where visitors can currently experience two of her captivating Infinity Mirror Rooms (Pictured: Kusama’s ‘Dots Obsession’ at the Visual Culture Museum in Hong Kong)
‘I deeply regret using hurtful and offensive language in my book,’ she says. ‘My message has always been one of love, hope, compassion and respect for all people. My lifelong intention has been to lift up humanity through my art. I apologise for the pain I have caused.’
Tate Modern says that there is no question of her Infinity Rooms being cancelled. ‘The Tate welcomes her recent statement,’ a spokesman tells me.
It’s a startling contrast to the permanent closure of the Tate Britain restaurant — embellished by a mural by Rex Whistler, unveiled in 1927, but deemed ‘offensive’ and ‘stereotypical’ three years ago.
Whistler died in battle in 1944 fighting Nazism.
Freddie plans a sticky wicket
Freddie Flintoff is set to receive £9 million compensation from the BBC over his horrific car stunt on Top Gear last December.
But I do wonder if he will be forking out some of that money to appease the legions of angry villagers in his home county of Lancashire, who have teamed up to block development proposals by a company he co-owns.
Logik Developments, of which the former cricket star, 45, is a company director, has applied to take over three plots of agricultural land with plans to transform them into industrial units, retail outlets and a hotel.
Freddie Flintoff is set for a £9million compensation from the BBC after his horrific car stunt
The former England cricket captain, 45, was ‘lucky to be alive’ after his three-wheeled Morgan Super 3 car, which did not have air bags, flipped over on December 13
Among the objectors in Samlesbury is one furious resident whose picturesque farmhouse view of fields may be transformed into a less than serene view of a lorry-filled industrial park.
He describes the proposed new build as a ‘monstrosity’. ‘Ask Mr Flintoff if he’d like it built in his back garden?’ he wails.
Actors Imelda Staunton and Jim Carter are often celebrated for having the strongest marriage in showbiz — yet their daughter Bessie Carter says it has been to her detriment.
‘I am screwed because my parents met 37 years ago, got together very quickly and have been happily married ever since,’ says the Bridgerton actress. ‘So I’ve grown up thinking that that is completely normal.’
Perhaps this is why Bessie, 29, despises dating apps. ‘They make you feel sick and overwhelmed and lonely somehow. So I delete the app every six to seven weeks. Then six weeks later it’s back, usually when I am feeling low. But that’s the poison.’
Paloma has a pop at the patriarchy
The acronym MILF is usually considered an uncouth way to describe a sexually attractive middle-aged woman, but it’s also set to be the title of pop star Paloma Faith’s debut book, Motherhood, Identity, Love and F***ery.
‘It’s all about how it’s impossible really to be a success as a woman in culture without it being wrapped in the vines of the patriarchy,’ says the actress and singer.
Popstar Paloma Faith’s is set to release a debut book called Motherhood, Identity, Love, and F***ery
‘I write about how the patriarchy is not just perpetuated by men, it’s perpetuated by everyone, including gay men, straight men, theys and thems, women, it’s so ingrained in us.’ Look out!
Phone billionaire John’s trunks call for Modesta’s 40th
Billionaire businessman John Caudwell is usually suited and booted for his public appearances, but to mark girlfriend Modesta Vzesniauskaite’s 40th birthday celebrations he was happy to be snapped in his smalls.
Ahead of the Olympic cyclist’s celebrations in her native Lithuania, he shared this picture from their hotel room, in which he sported a white vest top and black boxer shorts, as she stood on a bed surrounded by balloons. ‘My Modesta turns 40 — and is even more fabulous than ever,’ says the tycoon, who founded Phones 4U and is 31 years her senior.
Modesta, who has two children with Caudwell, later changed into a sheer, sequinned dress for the ‘Red and Ravishing’ themed bash. She said: ‘It was so special to see and to hug my old friends and family.’