Finding success can take time, and while some of the younger crowd gets lucky, some of them don’t. There are all sorts of paths to success, whether it’s a late start, a slow burn, or an unexpected turn which opens doors that we didn’t see before. Creativity keeps the soul lively, and these artists are proof that good things come to those who wait, try new things, and don’t give up.
Louise Bourgeois may have been creating art since her twenties, but it took her some time to find her place and recognition as an accomplished artist. In her 40’s she befriended Mark Rothko and Willem De Kooning, and joined the American Abstract Artists Group, and in her late seventies she created “Maman,” a series of sculptural works paying tribute to motherhood, some of her most celebrated work.
Marina Abramovic is easily one of the most accomplished, prolific, and well recognized contemporary performance artists of our times. It wasn’t until the end of her romantic and creative relationship with artist Ulay at the age of 42 that Abramovic began to create some of her most well-known and thought provoking work, finally being recognized for her solo contributions.
Kazuo Ohno began dancing at the age of 27, but a stint in the Japanese Army caused him to put his career on hold until he was in his mid forties, in the early 1950s. In 1961, at 55, he helped to start the Ankoku Butoh-ha dance movement in Japan, an innovative, expressive, and controversial form of contemporary Japanese dance.
Mary Delaney began her career as a decoupage artist at the age of 71. While she had long been interested in art, it wasn’t until after her husband’s passing that she began creating her signature paper flowers, making more than 1000 in her final years of life. Delaney was also a member of the English Blue Stockings Society, an 18th century social and educational movement.
Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh is a name that many people are familiar with, but during his life, the artist’s work was only recognized by a small number of people. Van Gogh didn’t take up painting until his late twenties, and while he created over 2000 works, his most acclaimed pieces were created during the last two years of his life.
Vivenne Westwood didn’t open her infamous SEX shop — known as a hangout for London punks the Sex Pistols in the 1970s — until the age of 34. It wasn’t until 1981, at the age of 40, that she had her first runway show. Presently 74 years old, Westwood continues to make cutting edge designs and remains politically engaged.
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