Kimiko Date’s Forehands and Kusuma’s Polka Dots

A mashup of a female contemporary artist and tennis player from Japan.

To break new ground, do what you’re told. If you’re left-handed like Kimiko, play right-handed. Nonconformity equals shame. Don’t take big swings. Go old school. Hit your forehand as flat as a pancake. Run faster and faster around the court till you reach the semifinals of three grand slams—Wimbledon, the US Open, the French—and become the greatest player ever in Japan. To break new ground, rebel. Your family forbids you to be an artist, so you paint 16 hours a day:  hallucinations, obsessions, fashions, fame. Paint polka dots as a process of self-obliteration on and on to infinity until everyone’s driving Kusuma’s car, stealing her innovations. Claus Oldenburg stole her soft sculptures, Andy Warhol her wallpaper art, Lucas Samaras her infinity rooms. All the men got rich while Kusuma lived on onions, potatoes, coffee, work. Kimiko retired for 12 years, then came back to become the oldest player ever at 46 years to beat a top 10 player. No one hits the forehand as flat as Kimiko. Everyone wears Kusuma’s clothes.

Kimiko Date’s Flat Forehand. Source: Wikimedia

For free posts every Thursday in your email featuring original art from around the world and creative new perspectives and prose, follow Tennis Players as Works of Art below:

Happy to announce that this blog has been named one of Feedspot’s top tennis blogs, websites & influencers of 2023.

5 replies on “Kimiko Date’s Forehands and Kusuma’s Polka Dots”

Leave a Reply