Genue Inc.
April 15, 2020

Artists We Love: Yayoi Kusama



Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama is a worldwide legend known for her unique vision—a vision that’s always covered in polka dots! She’s 90 years old, and one of the most famous female artists in the world. Her career began in the 50s, and is still going strong today. Her patterns have graced canvases, sculptures, clothing, and even entire rooms! (And we just love unique patterns here at Genue!)


Kusama’s fascination with polka dots began in her youth, when trauma and injuries plagued her with hallucinations. She would see spots, and feel as if she was becoming suffocated by endless netting. Ever since the age of 10, she began to draw dots. Even her earliest paintings as an adult in the 50s explored this pattern, across long canvases and even on naked models. Polka dots became her personal signature in the world!



Kusama has been quoted saying “A polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement … Polka dots are a way to infinity.” The concept of infinity would become increasingly important to Kusama, as she developed her concept of “Infinity Rooms”…


Infinty Room in Jakarta


The “Infinity Rooms” are giant installations using mirrors and lights to create the optical illusion of being in a spotted hallway that seemed to go on forever. The use of color, props, and lights is different in each one, but one thing remains the same—Kusama’s signature round polka dot patterns! The psychedelic effect is overwhelming for the viewer. Walking into one is truly an incredible experience! Luckily, there have been many built in art galleries all over the world, from the United States, to Canada, to the UK!


What do you think of Kusama’s work? Have you visited one of her Infinity Rooms? Let us know about your experiences with her unique polka dots in a comment below!


If you enjoyed this artist feature, check out some of our other favorite creators: Rachel Hayes and her larger-than-life fabric installations, the colorful abstract flowers of painter Hilma af Klint, and the whimsical style of sustainable fashion designer Adrienne Antonson.

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