Yayoi Kusama

It was back in 2011. We were heading towards Reina Sofia Musem, because if you are in Madrid you just have to immerse yourself in the Golden Triangle of Art and your trickiest choice will be which of the three museums to walk to first.

We knew that Picasso and Dalí were waiting for us, and how not, Spain’s two greatest. But how were we to expect that Yayoi Kusama was visiting all the way from Japan?

We knew that Picasso and Dalí were waiting for us, and how not, Spain’s two greatest. But how were we to expect that Yayoi Kusama was visiting all the way from Japan? We just walked into a room filled with polka dots and that’s all it took. We had been relishing pop art without knowing she was one of its predecessors, influencing the likes of Andy Warhol. She has an obsession with dots and repetition. Among all the vibrant art, we enjoyed the interactive installation Fireflies in the Mirrors where you effortlessly become an ultimate performer in her art.Last week, I re-encountered her while visiting the Dot Obsession Exhibition taking place in SAF Art Spaces in Sharjah. It is ongoing until January 9th, 2017. There’s the Obliteration Room where the audiences are invited to take part in the installation by encouraging them to place colored polka dots stickers on different parts of the white living room. The small-scale exhibition also includes additional works from her early life and recent times.

Yayoi Kusama, the 86-year old “Polka Dot Princess”

Yayoi Kusama, the 86-year old “Polka Dot Princess” continues to paint and create to this day in her artist studio, across the street from the sanitarium she voluntarily retired to. She has been subject of regular museum and gallery exhibitions for years and in 2008, she broke records as the highest-priced living female artist. When appearing in public, though very rarely, she makes sure even her wheelchair is decorated with polka dots and her wig is as bright and eccentric as her artwork. They say that the idea of the artist being more interesting than the art is a literary fallacy, but in this case, it might not be completely true.

Yayoi Kusama, Exhibition 2011

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Yayoi Kusama, Exhibition 2016

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