Born in Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929, Yayoi Kusama is the most relevant artist from her country. Her artistic outburst took place during the 60s when she moved to New York and left Tokyo behind, where she had resided to learn about the Nihonga art (traditional Japanese painting) and had her first exhibitions.
Once at the Great Apple, she had the chance (or they did) to show her work along other relevant artists of the time such as Andy Warhol or Claes Oldenburg, becoming one of the Pop Art’s pioneers. Without a doubt, this was the most productive time of her life until then and Yayoi Kusama turned into the leader of the avant-garde movement, organizing multiple “happenings” in such visible places like Central Park or Brooklyn Bridge. Kusama reaches her own and recognizable style at this moment, influenced by the hippy scene, psychedelia and feminist movements.
Despite of achieving a great international fame during her stay in New York, this wasn’t reflected in her personal economy. Here mental disorders became worse and by the middle 70s she decided to go back to her native Japan. She’s been living there since then at a psychiatric residence she entered on her free will.
The 80s and the 90s mark a devoid of creativity in her career that comes back to life by the early 2000s. Today, this octogenarian is still creating works with great energy and has solo shows worldwide, not to mention that her works are permanently exhibited at the most important museums in the globe.
Yayoi Kusama is a multi-talented enthusiast artist dedicated to painting and sculpting but also creates major sized installations. She is also well known for her writing and has published plenty of novels and poems. Her recognizable work highlights for her repetitions of simple elements and vivid colours that are a clear reflection of this artist’s personality, marked by psychological disorders she’s been suffering since she was a kid. The use of dots, as elements than can only have a meaning and movement when repeated, are a therapy to Kusama and help her to express and release from her obsessions, fears and insecurities.