Yayoi Kusama's art, a visionary artist

Yayoi Kusama, a renowned Japanese artist, is famous for her unique artistic works characterized by repetitive patterns and a fascination with infinity. A pioneer of contemporary art, she is also known for her major influence in the pop and minimalist art movements of the 1960s.

Biography of the artist

Yayoi Kusama was born on March 22, 1929, in Matsumoto, Japan. She showed a strong interest in art from a young age. At the age of 10, she began painting and developed a true artistic passion that drove her to express her inner world. She has been facing a mental challenge since childhood, dealing with visual hallucinations. She studied painting at the Kyoto City University of Arts and began exhibiting her works, although it was difficult at that time to establish herself as a female artist. She decided to move to New York in the 1950s with the help of Georgia O'Keeffe. She then began her artistic career and joined the avant-garde scene in New York. Despite a challenging start in the art world, Kusama continues to captivate enthusiasts and art dealers around the globe. Now 95 years old, she has been residing in a psychiatric hospital since 1970, where she perseveres in her artistic practice by continuing to paint.

The iconic series of artworks

Infinity Mirror Rooms

© 2019 Yayoi Kusama © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domag

The Infinity Mirror Rooms by Yayoi Kusama are captivating artistic installations. These immersive chambers have been enthralling audiences since their creation and continue to fascinate with their ingenuity and beauty. The first mirror installation dates back to 1965 and is titled Infinity Mirror Room - Phalli’s Field. The walls and ceiling are covered with mirrors, creating the illusion of infinite depth. These rooms are often illuminated by colored lights or  luminous patterns, enhancing the sensation of immersion and transcendence of physical space. Upon entering these spaces, one finds themselves surrounded by infinite reflections, where each reflection creates a visual symphony of shapes, lights, and colors. It feels like floating in an infinite cosmos, suspended between reality and illusion. In addition to providing a visual experience, these installations invite deeper reflection on the perception of space, prompting visitors to meditate on their place in an ever-expanding universe.


Yayoi Kusama's pumpkin sculptures are iconic artworks that embody her unique artistic vision. These pumpkins are polychromatic sculptures, often adorned with distinctive geometric patterns, bright dots, or hypnotic organic motifs. Kusama creates these sculptures in various sizes, ranging from small table sculptures to monumental outdoor installations. These pumpkins, with their repetitive patterns and vibrant colors, reflect the artist's characteristic style,  which seeks to convey an obsessive and recurring vision of nature. Kusama's pumpkins are symbols of fertility, growth, and abundance, but they also carry personal significance for the artist, recalling her childhood in rural Japan where she developed an early love for this vegetable. These sculptures have captivated audiences in major exhibitions worldwide, often being at the heart of immersive installations that invite viewers to interact with them. Their popularity lies in Kusama's ability to blend simple visual elements with profound artistic concepts, thus creating an artistic experience that is both playful and introspective.

© Masterworks

The Obliteration Room

The Obliteration Room is an iconic artistic installation by Yayoi Kusama that offers a unique interactive experience. This work invites visitors to actively participate in its creation, thus transforming the traditional perception of art. The installation begins with a completely white room: walls, furniture, and everyday objects are placed in a neutral and minimalist space. Visitors are given stickers and colored dots, Kusama's distinctive signature. Participants are encouraged to stick these stickers everywhere in the room, thus creating a progressive visual transformation. Over time, the initial whiteness of the room disappears under an explosion of colors and patterns, with each visitor contributing uniquely to the final composition. The Obliteration Room explores the concept of erasing boundaries between the artist and the viewer. By encouraging direct interaction, Kusama abolishes the passivity of artistic contemplation and invites participants to become co-creators of the work. This interactive approach also reflects recurring themes in Kusama's work, such as obsession, repetition, and the fusion of the individual with the infinite. Beyond its aesthetic aspect, this installation offers a reflection on the ephemeral nature of art. The Obliteration Room is thus an immersive experience that transcends conventional boundaries of art, creating a lively dialogue between the artist, the artwork, and the audience.

© Collection Qagoma
© Queensland Art Gallery

An Obsession with Specific Patterns

Yayoi Kusama's obsession with repetitive patterns lies at the heart of her work and defines her prolific career. The Japanese artist's Polka Dots remain among her most iconic motifs and unquestionably the most famous. These characteristic dots, often bright and colorful, permeate Kusama's paintings, sculptures, installations, and performances in an omnipresent manner. These seemingly simple dots are meticulously repeated, creating hypnotic patterns that seem to extend infinitely, invading the space and mind of the viewer. For Kusama, these dots represent a way to merge her art with the world around her, a form of dissipation of the ego into infinity. Beyond their visual aesthetic, these obsessive motifs embody a deeper meaning, they symbolize the repetition and infinite accumulation of thoughts, emotions, and experiences. They express her personal struggle against the hallucinations and mental anxieties she has often felt. These recurring patterns are a visual representation of her view of life as a series of dots, individual moments that, once assembled, create infinite continuity and expansion. By incorporating these obsessive motifs into her creations, Kusama invites the viewer to share her experience of accumulation and infinite expansion, transforming these motifs into an artistic and introspective exploration of the artist's mental universe.

Yayoi Kusama X Louis Vuitton

In 2012, Yayoi Kusama established an iconic collaboration with Louis Vuitton, the famous French fashion house. This alliance resulted in a collection of luxury products that merge Kusama's eccentric artistic universe with Louis Vuitton's craftsmanship. This collaboration is marked by the incorporation of Kusama's famous polka dot motifs on several Louis Vuitton products (handbags, accessories, clothing, shoes). The artist's colorful and playful dots transform luxury items into wearable works of art, bringing a distinctive artistic touch to the brand. The collection also encompasses artistic installations, including store windows, offering customers an immersive experience in Kusama's enchanting universe. This collaboration contributes to bringing contemporary art closer to the general public. It merges two creative worlds to offer an innovative experience to Louis Vuitton's clientele while celebrating the visionary and iconic work of the Japanese artist.

To materialize this collaboration, Louis Vuitton unveiled several installations worldwide. From January to March 2023, in Paris, passersby were amazed by an XXL reproduction of the artist adorning the facade of the Champs-Élysées store as well as in front of the Louis Vuitton headquarters. The Polka Dots also invade Harrods stores in London, Milan, and Tokyo.

© Louis Vuitton

Her exhibitions in 2023 around the world

In 2023, several exhibitions were dedicated to the artist Kusama worldwide. The exhibition "You, Me and the Balloons" at the Factory International in Manchester, England, attracted thousands of spectators. The exhibition celebrated three decades of Yayoi Kusama's artworks, brought together for the first time. The exhibition "Yayoi Kusama: Self-Obliteration/Psychedelic World" at the Yayoi Kusama Museum in Tokyo focuses on the psychedelic aspects of the artist's work and presents rich variations of her creations from different periods. To mark a decade of fruitful collaboration with the artist, the David Zwirner gallery chose to exhibit a series of works at the Paris + fair during the 2023 edition. This exhibition echoed the one simultaneously taking place in their New York space.

Kusama in the art market

The prolific Japanese artist has made a mark on the art market with her financial impact and constant demand for her works. In 2022, her turnover amounted to $162 million, earning her a prestigious place as the 8th global artist in 2023. Recent auction sales testify to the persistent enthusiasm for her work. In 2023, at a sale at Christie's in Hong Kong, her work A Flower was sold for 78,125,000 HKD, illustrating the increasing value of her creations. At Sotheby's London in 2023, Yayoi Kusama's work entitled Pumpkin was auctioned for £3,073,000. In May 2023, Flowers again reached the amount of 58,455,000 HKD at Christie's. These record sales underscore the constant popularity and increasing value of Yayoi Kusama's creations, confirming her leading position in the global art market.

Investing in a Kusama Artwork with Matis

Thanks to the co-investment solution offered by Matis, it is now possible to acquire an artwork by a renowned artist such as Kusama from an investment perspective. This is an alternative method that opens up new horizons compared to more traditional practices. Indeed, Matis offers you the opportunity to invest in major names in contemporary art, such as Basquiat, Warhol, or Picasso, through club deals, a form of crowdfunding that allows funds to be raised from multiple investors. For each club deal created, an investment vehicle is structured in which investors can acquire convertible bonds. The artwork is then entrusted to major galleries for resale, and once this is done, investors recoup the funds placed as well as any profit made (not guaranteed).

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