Yoko Ono – A Brief History

Yoko Ono as a babyShe was born in a crossfire hurricane and she howled at her ma in the driving rain.

And so she came kicking and screaming into the world, the artist, musician, activist and kitten: Yoko Ono.  Even as a baby, Yoko gravitated to the world of art.  One of her earliest installations, ‘Piss On Katy’, drew immediate critical acclaim from Old Rope and a bestial love affair was born.

Much of Yoko’s early work was characterised by Bed-ins and other public acts of ‘sleeping’, staged at her behest, with her mother and reluctant brother.

Yoko OnoIt soon became clear that Ono’s work was not compatible with that of her family and an independent approach was inevitable.  A raft of albums followed – packed with intense cat grooves and toured not with gigs but more installations.  ‘Ripped Curtains’, a bleak commentary on the transient nature of the commodity under capitalism, gained few plaudits, evening drawing out-right criticism from members of the artistic old guard (aka C-Boats –  they were his curtains), but it marked a progression in Yoko’s development as a radical artist.

Ono returned to her old stomping ground in the form of further bed-ins, a populist attempt to claw back public favour. She rekindled regular happenings like ‘On The Belly of C-Boats’ and ‘Hiding Under The Duvet’.  Some said her work had grown stale.  These naysayers had not smelt her latest log in the litter tray, fresh as daisy.

Ono does not wish to be restricted to traditional forms of art.  By inventing games such as Poo Pawing, she sought to flex her feline muscles in other stylistic modes.

Yoko's controversial Playboy centre-spreadYoko is a funk soul sister and a real live wire.  She cannot be pinned down.  Though predominantly a peace campaigner, she has been known to adopt violent methods when she sees fit, turning a metaphorical mirror to societal woes.  Describing Bloodied Mouse, an horrific reflection on the atrocities of war, Ono quipped “Meow” before promptly being thrown out of the gallery.


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