Yayoi Kusama: the world's most successful female artist

The Japanese genius has made millions selling her stunning creations and worked with the likes of Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

Peter Iantorno March 19, 2015

Here at EDGAR, we've long been fans of Yayoi Kusama, and her unique artworks have adorned our pages before, in the form of this awesome Abu Dhabi exhibition, and this mind-blowing installation in Australia. But in the week of her 86th birthday (Sunday, March 22), we thought it was high time she had an article all to herself.

A Japanese artist and writer with an unmistakable style, however you look at the long and remarkable life and career of Yayoi Kusama, it is truly astonishing. She is living proof that some things only get better with age, as her striking work continues to amaze and smash auction house records around the world in the process.

Famed for her psychedelic style, Kusama, who was born in Matsumoto, Japan, in 1929 and later moved to New York, introduced elements of pop art and surrealism long before the likes of Andy Warhol arrived on the scene.

After spending 16 years in New York, Kusama moved back to her native Japan and, finding the art scene considerably more conservative than in the U.S. and experiencing financial difficulties, she began to suffer from psychiatric problems.

Yayomi Kusama.

In 1973 Kusama voluntarily checked herself into the Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill, and despite suffering from frequent vivid visions and even suicidal tendencies, she continues to produce her breathtaking abstract work from the hospital to this day.

As well as selling her art for often astronomical sums - such as the record-breaking White No. 28, which went for $7.1 million in November last year - Kusama produces mind-blowing installations and has even dabbled in fashion, launching her own label and collaborating with a number of well-known brands including Marc Jacobs and Louis Vuitton.

Now universally accepted as the world's most successful living female artist, there can be no doubt that Yayoi Kusama truly is a living legend. Here are a few of our favourite mesmerising installations from the Japanese genius: Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Yayomi Kusama. Details: For more from Yayomi Kusama, read our articles here and here, or visit yayoi-kusama.jp