Yaoi Kusama. The art of obsession

Her paintings, collages, soft sculptures, performances and installations share obsession with repetition, patterns, and accumulation. In her works there are traits of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, arbut, pop art and abstract expressionism, filled with autobiographical, psychological and sexual content.Kusama describes himself as an «obsessive artist». She is also a writer and poetess, has created notable works in film and clothing design. He suffers from mental illnesses.Yayoi Kusama was born in Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, suffered from hallucinations and obsessive thoughts from childhood, often of a suicidal nature.At the beginning of her career she began to cover the surfaces (walls, floors, canvases, and then everyday objects and nude assistants) with a pea pattern, which became her trademark. Large fields of peas, or «networks of infinity,» as she calls them, were taken directly from her hallucinations.

Kusama studied for only about one year at the School of Arts and Crafts in Kyoto in 1948. She left her native country and moved to New York in 1957. Kusama was very ambitious, used her position as not an American woman and her history of mental illness to create a vivid public image.Yaoi was loved by the New York bohemia, but her art produced almost no income. In 1973 she returned to Japan due to poor health.

When she left New York, she was almost forgotten as an artist until the late 1980s and early 1990s, when several retrospectives revived her international interest. Another turning point was her participation in the Venice Biennale in 1993, where she represented Japan.

 Today she lives in a psychiatric hospital in Tokyo, where she continues to create works since the mid-1970s. Her studio is next to the hospital.