The dots of artist Yayoi Kusama are to contemporary art what the pink gingham of couturier Jacques Esterel is to haute couture: a signature style that ignores the march of time! This Japanese artist, soon to be ninety and nicknamed “the dot princess”, continues to exhibit, in her private museum and…the mental hospital where she lives at her own request.
Her busy schedule has never let up as recognitions and commissions continue to flow, from the Centre Pompidou in Paris and Tate Modern in London to the Louvre-Lens, House of Vuitton and various museums in the USA. If you want a glimpse of her at the preview of her shows, you have to risk the scrum, and the tickets to her exhibitions and private museum sell out in advance.
Her most recent exhibition – Infinity Mirrors at The Broad in Los Angeles (till 1 January 2018) – is more astonishing than ever, with creations of cosmic, panoramic visions from floor to ceiling, all prompted by visions she had in her childhood: petals of giant flowers and enormous tentacles, which she presents herself in a matching dress and with carrot-coloured hair, blending in as always with a setting of omnipresent though always dissimilar dots. “The Earth is a dot, the stars are dots, the Sun is a dot, my life is a dot among the thousands of other dots”, she states. Furthermore, her dot technique is also symbolic of her attitude to devotion to peace, a conviction she has upheld since her hippy days.
This Japanese star has always fascinated those around her, among whom Andy Warhol, who was a great admirer. It must be said that she pulls no punches: she may sow bucolic fields of flowers but also she injects the same fervour into planting fields of phalluses.