Yayoi Kusama‘s work since the late 50s has been about dots. The Japanese born artist first experienced seeing the motif of circles, dots, and whirls during childhood hallucinations. She has been obsessed ever since. She regards her work as life saving and has said that without it, she would not have made it into old age. She has had a six decade career and lives today in a mental institution in Tokyo that is located minutes from her art studio. After living in Tokyo and France, Kusama left Japan at the age of 27 for New York City in which she became interested in joining the art scene. She quickly established her reputation as a leader in the avant-garde movement and actually counted her media coverage against that of fellow artist, Andy Warhol (and she had more). She organized outlandish happenings (as she called them) in public places like Central Park and the Brooklyn Bridge. These happenings often involved nudity/body painting and were designed to protest the Vietnam War. She was very productive, but did not profit financially from her work until much later in her career.

‘Each creative act starts with a single gesture that, when multiplied and sent out into the world, reveals the potency of endless variation.’ Quote courtesy Victoria Miro

Advertisements