Amazing Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama, 2012

Yayoi Kusama is an outstanding Japanese artist and one the brightest representatives of pop-art and avant-garde art. Kusama gained worldwide popularity with her extraordinary installations and her signature polka dots. Her art influenced Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and many other artists, and combines feminism, minimalism, and pop-art. It ranges from sculpture, installation, performances and fashion design to literary works, short stories and poetry. Kusama is now the highest selling living woman artist, and she hit the record in 2014 with her work sold at Christie’s for $7,1mln.

Kusama was born in Japan and studied the traditional Japanese Nihonga painting technique, which she found too rigid, being more interested in American and European avant-garde. After several exhibitions in Japan, in 1957 Kusama came to the USA, where she became part of the New York pop ar and avant-garde scene, exhibiting her works together with Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, George Sigal and others. In addition to painting, Kusama turns to other art forms — sculpture, installation and performance. She gains popularity when staging “happenings” where naked people, animals and objects are painted with her signature polka dots. This performance is called Kusama’s Self-Obliteration (1967) and has its roots in the childhood paintings, which Yayoi Kusama painted at the age of 10, when trying to overcome the hallucinations and mental health issues. At that time she imagined the pattern leaving the frames of the picture and covering all other surrounding objects, everything in the room including the artist herself. Kusama later used this experience to express the idea of the transformation of borders between the real life and the imaginary world. Even now, the 86-year-old artist, who lives in Tokyo under the supervision of psychiatrists, leaves home wearing polka dots head-to-toe.

Yayoi Kusama, Installation at the National Museum of Art, 2012, Japan

Yayoi Kusama, Installation «Narcissus Garden»2009, Inhotim, Brasil

Yayoi Kusama «Ascension of Polkadots on the Trees», 2006, Singapore

A wax figure of artist Yayoi Kusama, Louis Vuitton, Collection 2012