“I, Kusama, am the modern Alice in Wonderland.”
By Latria Graham
Yayoi Kusama’s pointillist signature and gourd-shaped sculptures are instantly recognizable, and with more than 5 million people visiting her shows within the last five years, she is the most famous living female artist in the world. Known for her extensive use of polka dots and for her infinity room installations, the prolific contemporary Japanese artist has designed everything from Louis Vuitton handbags to lip gloss.
When Yayoi Kusama’s work is exhibited abroad, it is always situated in an international context. In order to get to the essence of Kusama’s work, art enthusiasts must visit her home country of Japan. The majority of her work lies in the capital city of Tokyo and her hometown of Matsumoto. Here’s where to go in order to get the ultimate Yayoi Kusama experience.
Born March 22, 1929, in the mountainous region of Matsumoto, Yayoi Kusama is the youngest daughter of a well-to-do conservative family of plant merchants.
Creating art was initially an act of rebellion—her mother did not want her to be an artist and frequently confiscated her artwork, hoping to force Kusama into the role of a traditional Japanese housewife…