Throughout her 65 year career, Yayoi has captivated her audience with her vibrant sculptures, drawings, paintings and installations. But behind the frivolity and playfulness lies an intriguing and complex woman – often outspoken and perpetually contending with mental health issues that she combats through her “art-medicine” and her voluntary residence at a Sanatorium.
Infinity Mirror is a touring exhibition that you can currently catch in Toronto. The unquestionable highlight has to be the six infinity rooms themselves – five of which offer a fully immersive experience and have been dubbed an ‘Instagram paradise’. In fact, the 89 year old is the world’s most Instagrammed artist! Although perhaps ironically, Kusama’s mirrored pieces make reference to what she refers to as “self obliteration” – a term coined by the artist to question the distance between the personal and the universal.
On the surface it may appear that Kusama’s main preoccupations are merely polka dots and pumpkins – but delve deeper and you will soon be hit by her unrelenting desire to create something eternal and infinite. Even after a career spanning six decades she continues to be prolific and her work ethic is intimidating in it’s veracity. There is no doubt that much like her infinite nets and mirrored pieces (and perhaps even the line ups outside?), public interest in her work will also last forever.
3 top ‘spots’ to get your polka dot fix:
- As already mentioned, the Toronto show at AGO is currently dominating the critics’ attention. BUT: unless you have been lucky enough to secure an advance ticket to Infinity Mirrors – (on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto until May 27th) then be prepared to brave the same-day ticket lines.
- The newly opened Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo – A 90 minute ticket (that must be bought in advance) will afford you time to check out the current exhibition ‘Here, Now, I have Reached the Grandest Start of My Life’ – which includes an intimate insight into drawings inspired by the hallucinations that Kusama has experienced since childhood.
- And the ultimate destination for devoted fans has to be her birthplace: Matsumoto, Japan. There you can ride the polka dot public bus to the Matsumoto City Museum of Art. Once there, be sure to pose with the giant floral sculptures – or perhaps purchase a beverage from a polka dot vending machine! And then head inside to take in the current show ‘All About My Love’ – on display until July 22nd.