“By obliterating one’s individual self, one returns to the infinite universe.” (Yayoi Kusama)
The top-selling female artist in the world, Yayoi Kusama overcame nearly insurmountable odds to realize her artistic vision. She was an underdog from the start, growing up in Japan during the trauma of World War II and suffering from debilitating mental illness in a family that scorned her creative ambitions. For decades, the art establishment showed scant interest in Kusama, at the same time championing male artists who had come under the sway of her eye-popping installations, soft sculpture, and nude happenings. But, at 90, she has prevailed, with a legacy that spans painting, sculpture, installation art, performance art, and even poetry and literary fiction. Her “self-obliterating” Mirror/Infinity rooms (one can be seen at the Bellagio Gallery in Las Vegas through June) have drawn crowds in record numbers, and Kusama continues to create exciting new work every day.