“The world is just one tiny polka dot among a million stars in space. Polka dots are a way to infinity.” Yayoi Kusama.
Yayoi Kusama is a unique creative artist and writer. During her career, she has worked with various media such as paint, collage, sculpture, performance and diverse installations.
A common aspect of her works is the obvious interest in psychedelic colours, constant repetition and striking patterns. She was born in 1929 and moved to the USA in 1957. It was her work that preceded pop art and influenced artists like Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal.
Kusama became an integral part of the New York avant-garde in the early 1960’s, which was associated with the pop art movement. In the Sixties she was at the centre of attention after organising a series of happenings, at which the naked participants were covered in brightly coloured polka dots.
Despite leaving the New York art scene in early 1970, Kusama is still recognised as one of the most important living artists from Japan and a strong voice of the avant-garde.
The work of creative artist Yayoi Kusama is based on conceptual art and features attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, art brut, pop art and abstract expressionism. The unique works are full of autobiographical, psychic and sexual content.
Yet Kusama is not just a creative artist. She has also thrilled the public with her luxurious poems and has left a footprint in the film industry and fashion design.
In 2012, she joined forces with the creative director of luxury brand Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, to create a unique collection full of iconic polka dots. The store design was altered to go with the new collection.
The artist’s most famous and revolutionary work during her extraordinarily fruitful period is probably the Infinity Mirror Room – Phalli's Field of 1965.
In 1962 to 1964, she spent the majority of her time making thousands of stuffed fabric shapes. Together these formed a unique sculpture, which was supposed to depict hallucinatory scenes of phallic surfaces. This luxurious work of art required a vast amount of work, so Kusama started using mirrors to achieve practically the same result – infinite repetition. This work first appeared in the Floor Show at the Castellane Gallery in New York in 1965.
Yayoi Kusama’s luxury works were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art (1998), the Whitney Museum (2012) and the Tate Modern (2012). In 2008, the Christie’s auction house in New York sold one of her works for USD 5,100,000. It was the most expensive work by a living female artist ever sold.
At present, her luxury works are on exhibit at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, where they will be displayed until 14 May 2017.