When I was in Stockholm this past year, I was lucky enough to see an exhibit of Yayoi Kusama’s work in the Modern Museum. I had heard of her, but this was my first in person experience with her art.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese artist who utilizes polka dots in sculpture, painting, collages, and installation work. Her work is surrealist and involves feminist motifs. Her experiences having hallucination and hearing voices is expressed through consistent repetition of imagery in her art. In an installation piece I saw, there is a room full of mirrors. The floor, as well as the ceiling, are printed with her signature polka dots. To this day, she uses art as a healing mechanism to help cope with her mental illnesses. She has a studio in Japan, which she is using to this day since the 1970s.
Her art is exceptionally self-aware, honest, and overwhelming all at the same time. Her feelings of isolation and fear are noted in many of her pieces.