Biography (b. 1933)
01.01.12: Blow The Heart Wide Open
"My body is the scar of my mind." - Yoko Ono, 1964
Born on 18-Feb-1933 in Tokyo, Japan. She was the eldest of 3 children (brother Keisuke born 1936 and sister Setsuko born 1941). Her father was Eisuke Ono, a pianist and banking executive, and mother Isoko Isuda, the granddaughter of Zenijiro Yasuda, the founder of Yasuda Bank. Thus she grew up in wealth with children of the Emperor among her classmates at the prestigious Gakushuin School in Japan.
Shortly after the end of the 2nd World War Yoko's mother took the family to New York where they remained.
Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, she, along with her first husband, a Japanese music student, she made a name for herself on the New York art scene. Her life, however, was characterized by tribulations, mainly of love and money, which went as far as her being confined to a mental hospital in Tokyo in 1962.
She had her first child, Kyoko Chan Cox, in 1963, with the man who came from New York at the behest of a friend to release her from the hospital.
Upon her return to New York in 1964 she joined the Fluxus art circle. Among her influences was said to be the work of another Japanese female artist, Yayoi Kusama.
In November 1966 she, along with husband Tony Cox, had achieved such renown that John Lennon stopped by on an exhibition she had been invited to stage at the Indica Gallery in London.
By 1968 a mutual attraction had developed between Lennon and Ono to the point of his divorcing Cynthia and Ono finally splitting up with Cox.
From then on Ono collaborated with Lennon musically, bringing a taste of the avant garde to rock.
After marrying in March, 1969, their next three years were marked by extraordinarily seminal collaborations between the two.
1970’s twin albums Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band and John Lenon/Plastic Ono Band are the most famous products of Lennon's and Ono's collaboration, and Yoko Ono/Plastic Ono Band, in particular, is cited by many as a founding statement of the punk movement.
Though they split for a while in the 70s they came back together and had a son, Sean, in October 1975, bringing the somewhat alienated couple back together.
Ono was by Lennon’s side when he was murdered in December 1980.
Since his death, Yoko Ono has continued contributing artistically to the world, and promoting peace initiatives.
To any of us on the outside she is elusive, impenetrable, enigmatic but never boring. Who can say they know the real Yoko Ono? She has remained elusive to even the biographies on her where beyond the key dates we learn little about her.
And yet she is one of the most famous women of the 20th-century.
01.01.12: Book: Yoko Ono: The Other Rooms
Yoko Ono is one of the most influential artists of her generation. Long before she became famous for marrying John Lennon in 1969, Ono had become a successful and critically acclaimed conceptual, avant-garde, and performance artist in her own right. Highlight of her career was the exhibition Anton's Memory (2009), designed especially for the rooms of the Palazzetto Tito in Venice, brought together a number of her earlier works - including touch me III (2008), two filmed versions of her seminal 1964 performance piece Cut Piece (1965 & 2003), and Grapefruit (1964) - to create the memory of a man's mother, faded by time.
The Other Rooms serves as a unique extension of this unique exhibition, providing readers with an unparalleled glimpse into the work of one of the world's foremost contemporary artists.
01.01.12: Mailing Address
c/o Studio One
1 West 72nd Street
New York, NY 10023
Many of the images below are available as prints or posters at allposters.com. It's a good place to start your collection of Yoko Ono and/or Beatles posters. Anything obscure and for the completist then you have to look elsewhere but for the popular prints then this is the place. See their Yoko Ono page here.
All Images © Yoko Ono Unless Stated
Yoko Ono And John Lennon (Detail)
John Lennon and Wife Yoko Ono Having Weeks Love in Their Room at the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam (Detail)
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Detail)
Yoko Ono Launches Her New Book "Grapefruit" Accompanied by Her Husband, Former Beatle John Lennon (Detail)
John Lennon and Wife Yoko Ono Having a Weeks Love in Their Room at the Hilton Hotel, Amsterdam
John Lennon and Yoko Ono (Detail)
John Lennon Marries Yoko Ono, March 1969 (Detail)