Her exhibitions are major cultural events and her fans often camp out in order to secure their entry into them. She is considered the highest selling living artist and at the age of 88, Yayoi Kusama continues to create and exhibit in museums and galleries all over the world.
To celebrate her life and her work and to introduce her to a younger generation, Sarah Suzuki, curator at the New York Museum of Contemporary Art (MOMA) and illustrator Ellen Weinstein have created a children’s book entitled Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinit. The book is addressed to children from four to eight years old and narrates the life of the 88-year-old artist; from her childhood in Matsumoto, Japan, to her life in New York while illustrating her life’s work.
“We really did wrestle with it,” told Suzuki in an interview with Artnet. “Kusama has had many lifetimes as an artist. The crowds flocking to see the mirrored rooms may have no idea of her early life or how provocative her performances were”.
Born in 1929, Kusama grew up in Matsumoto, Japan. She started painting as a child, almost when he started to have hallucinations. These hallucinations and the theme of the dots became her trademark. She studied for a short time at the Kyoto School of Fine Arts but the conflict with her mother and Japan’s traditional culture forced her to move to New York in 1957. In 1973 she returned to Japan and from 1977 she lives voluntarily in a psychiatric clinic near her workshop.
During her career which spans over six decades, Kusama has created thousands of paintings, collages, sculptures and environmental facilities, most of which reflect her thematic interest in psychedelic colors, repetition and motifs. A pioneer in pop art, minimalist and feminist movements, Kusama has influenced many artists inclusing Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg and George Segal. In 1993, she was the first woman to represent Japan in the Venice Biennial.