Obsessed with spots for 80 years, Yayoi Kusama has made them her personal brand … and her psychotherapy! Veteran Japanese Pop artist opens her own museum in Tokyo. When she was 10 years old,Yayoi Kusama had her first contact with moles and dots, as she suffered hallucinations populated by infinite points.
At 88, from the psychiatric centre where she lives, she continues searching for ways of expressing them: vases, walls, naked people… The world is her favourite canvas to transmit concepts such as infinity or sexuality through repetitive images. A retrospective book of her work, just published by Phaidon Press, helps us to understand her art.
Kusama’s personality was forged in childhood traumas: abusive mother, unfaithful father, an adolescence in the darkness of a parachute factory, under World War bombs. At 25, she decided that Japan was too conservative. In New York she got the applause she needed. Georgia O’Keeffe loved her art, free and unique. She became a Pop icon. Yayoi Kusama imagined infinity mirror games at the service of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Coca-Cola or BMW, and wrote poetry in case someone still didn’t understand her.
Today, in a wheelchair, with full boiling creativity, she feels happy to have her own space in a Japan that, at last, celebrates her art. Yayoi Kusama Museum opened with show “My eternal Soul” in October 2017 with tickets sold out for the year. Designed by japanese architect Kume Sekkei, it’s a striking yet minimalistic building. Even bathrooms are covered with moles!
Kusama’s installations are magical sites for art-marriage proposals. Her long history is creating visually provocative works spanning across mediums: painting, performance, film, sculpture, installations… exhibited across the globe, giving the arty audience the opportunity to engage with her hallucinations realm where reality and illusion merge.