Yayoi Kusama Paintings

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Yayoi Kusama (草間 彌生, Kusama Yayoi, born March 22, 1929) is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation but is also active in painting, performance, film, fashion, poetry, fiction, and other arts. Her work is based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, Art Brut, pop art, and abstract expressionism, and is infused with autobiographical, psychological, and sexual content. She has been acknowledged as one of the most important living artists to come out of Japan.

Raised in Matsumoto, Kusama trained at the Kyoto School of Arts and Crafts in a traditional Japanese painting style called nihonga. Kusama was inspired, however, by American Abstract Impressionism. She moved to New York City in 1958 and was a part of the New York avant-garde scene throughout the 1960s, especially in the pop-art movement. Embracing the rise of the hippie counterculture of the late 1960s, she came to public attention when she organized a series of happenings in which naked participants were painted with brightly colored polka dots. Since the 1970s, Kusama has continued to create art, most notably installations in various museums around the world.

Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Nagano into an affluent family of merchants who owned a plant nursery and seed farm, Kusama started creating art at an early age and began writing poetry at age 18. Her mother was apparently physically abusive, and Kusama remembers her father as “the type who would play around, who would womanize a lot”. The artist says that her mother would often send her to spy on her father’s extramarital affairs, which instilled within her a lifelong contempt for sexuality, particularly the male body and the phallus: “I don’t like sex. I had an obsession with sex. When I was a child, my father had lovers and I experienced seeing him. My mother sent me to spy on him. I didn’t want to have sex with anyone for years […] The sexual obsession and fear of sex sit side by side in me.”

When she was ten years old, she began to experience vivid hallucinations which she has described as “flashes of light, auras, or dense fields of dots”. These hallucinations also included flowers that spoke to Kusama and patterns in fabric that she stared at coming to life, multiplying, and engulfing or expunging her, a process which she has carried into her artistic career and which she calls “self-obliteration”. She was reportedly fascinated by the smooth white stones covering the bed of the river near her family home, which she cites as another of the seminal influences behind her lasting fixation on dots.

When Kusama was 13, she was sent to work in a military factory where she was tasked with sewing and fabricating parachutes for the Japanese army, then embroiled in World War II. Discussing her time in the factory, she says that she spent her adolescence “in closed darkness” although she could always hear the air-raid alerts going off and see American B-29s flying overhead in broad daylight. Her childhood was greatly influenced by the events of the war, and she claims that it was during this period that she began to value notions of personal and creative freedom.

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I’d Love a Springtime Affaire with You, Paintings image

Paintings, 44 W x 44 H x 1.5 in
United States
$5 070
The Happier Sides of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 165 W x 80 H x 1.5 in
United States
$25 700
Dust Storm Down Under, Paintings image

Paintings, 66 W x 46 H x 1.5 in
United States
$8 700
Give Some Heart, Paintings image

Paintings, 48 W x 48 H x 1.8 in
United States
$7 700
How can I Love You Anymore!, Paintings image

Paintings, 52.5 W x 52.5 H x 1.5 in
United States
$7 200
You Are My Only Sunshine, Paintings image

Paintings, 126 W x 67.5 H x 1.5 in
United States
$21 250
I Can't Love You Any More!, Paintings image

Paintings, 45 W x 45 H x 2.5 in
United States
$7 190
I Love You In The Snow, Paintings image

Paintings, 43 W x 56 H x 1.5 in
United States
$7 900
#12 Half&Half Mixed Berries Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 8 W x 10 H x 1 in
India
$260
Our Love Flows Like Water, Paintings image

Paintings, 30 W x 60 H x 2.5 in
United States
$4 220
We Love The Silence of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 68 W x 80 H x 1.5 in
United States
$13 550
Kern No. 247, Paintings image

Paintings, 47 W x 43 H x 2 in
Switzerland
$8 100
Hard Journey, Paintings image

Paintings, 48 W x 48 H x 1.5 in
United States
$7 000
Blue lady, Paintings image

Paintings, 15.7 W x 19.7 H x 0.1 in
Serbia
$525
Prints from $40
FRIEZE, Paintings image

Paintings, 39.4 W x 9.8 H x 1.6 in
$490
Inside and outside, Paintings image

Paintings, 19.7 W x 19.7 H x 0.8 in
Serbia
$405
Prints from $40
Green worlds, Paintings image

Paintings, 27.6 W x 10.6 H x 0.4 in
Serbia
$400
Shame, Paintings image

Paintings, 13.8 W x 19.7 H x 0.1 in
Serbia
$365
Prints from $99
Deconstuction Drip Dots(Gunshots in Detroit Series), Paintings image

Paintings, 19.5 W x 25 H x 1.3 in
Canada
$1 460
#8 Mango Succulent Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
Dreamtime of gold revisited, Paintings image

Paintings, 51.2 W x 51.2 H x 2 in
$3 500
Prints from $40
Painted Black, Paintings image

Paintings, 19.7 W x 15.7 H x 0.1 in
Serbia
$505
Prints from $40
Brown, Paintings image

Paintings, 9.8 W x 13.8 H x 0.1 in
Serbia
$465
Prints from $40
A Romance Song, Paintings image

Paintings, 48 W x 60 H x 1.5 in
United States
$7 400
Prints from $80
#5 Dotted Lolly Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
Yayoi Kusama, Paintings image

Paintings, 17.7 W x 17.3 H x 0 in
$2 190
XL Size Deconstruction No.8216 Dots(In Tropical Blue), Paintings image

Canada
$1 760
What comes aroud goes around, Paintings image

Paintings, 19.7 W x 19.7 H x 0.8 in
Serbia
$525
Prints from $40
Yayoi Kasuma Inspired White on Black, Paintings image

Paintings, 12 W x 16 H x 1 in
United Kingdom
$160
Prints from $40
#6 Strawberry Mango Swirl Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$165
#14 Yellow Chia Rock Candy Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
Butterfly Dots Drip Painting No.326(In Tropical Blue), Paintings image

Canada
$900
olive and cherry, Paintings image

Paintings, 39.4 W x 27.5 H x 0.8 in
Croatia
$950
Prints from $129
Leaf, Paintings image

Paintings, 13.8 W x 19.7 H x 0.1 in
Serbia
$365
Prints from $95
Happy Few, Paintings image

Paintings, 31 W x 39 H x 0.5 in
$2 240
Prints from $50
#25 Gumball Machine Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 8 W x 10 H x 1 in
India
$245
Deconstruction No.3372 Dots(In African Violet), Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 24 H x 1.8 in
Canada
$910
Deconstruction Abstract Multi Dots Drip Painting, Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 20 H x 1.5 in
Canada
$675
#2 Smurf Kale Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
#13 Baby Spinach Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
Pineapple Dots Drip Painting(In Turquoise), Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 24 H x 1.5 in
Canada
$950
Fai meets Yayoi Kusama, Paintings image

Paintings, 9 W x 4.5 H x 0.1 in
It doesn't have to make sense, Paintings image

Paintings, 25.2 W x 37.4 H x 1.2 in
Jim Richards XL Size Deconstruction Multi dots Drip Painting, Paintings image

Canada
$1 460
XL Tall "Deconstruction No.6021 Dots" Neon Abstract, Paintings image

Paintings, 40 W x 60 H x 1.5 in
Canada
$2 655
Butterfly Multi Dots(In Gold) Painting Pop Art, Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 24 H x 1.8 in
Canada
$995
@SOLD@love Now no.185 dots, Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 24 H x 1.5 in
Canada
$930
Flames of Joy, Paintings image

Paintings, 60 W x 40 H x 1.5 in
United States
$6 000
Prints from $100
Yayoi Kusama, MMXVIII, Paintings image

Paintings, 37 W x 37 H x 3 in
$4 210
Prints from $40
Jim Richards XL Size Deconstruction Multi Dots Drip Painting, Paintings image

Canada
$1 460
Yayoi and her dots, Paintings image

Paintings, 16.5 W x 11.8 H x 0 in
$215
Prints from $50
Deconstruction No.3702 Dots, Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 24 H x 1.5 in
Canada
$1 000
#3 Smurf Cherry Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
#4 Slate Lolly Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
India
$150
#11 Tropical hoopla Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 8 W x 10 H x 1 in
India
$245
Deconstruction Gold Glitter Drip Dots No.5472 Glass Art, Paintings image

Paintings, 16.3 W x 21.3 H x 1.5 in
Canada
$1 255
#10 Tookie Bird Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 8 W x 10 H x 1 in
India
$245
Jim Richards Multi Dot Op Art Geometric Painting, Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 24 H x 2 in
Canada
$930
Pink Yellow Pastel Perfusion, Paintings image

Paintings, 35 W x 46.5 H x 0.1 in
Canada
$970
Prints from $40
Little fellas family, Paintings image

Paintings, 23.6 W x 15.7 H x 0.6 in
$660
Prints from $55
New Life, Golden Egg Mandala, Paintings image

Paintings, 25.6 W x 35.4 H x 0.6 in
$1 340
Prints from $71
Covered Chaos, Paintings image

Paintings, 36 W x 48 H x 1.5 in
United States
$480
YAYOI KUSAMA, Paintings image

Paintings, 8.7 W x 11.8 H x 0.8 in
$980
Prints from $40
Suono di superficie, Paintings image

Paintings, 27.6 W x 19.7 H x 0.8 in
$832
The Annunciation of Yayoi Kusama to Domenikos Theotokopoulos known as El Greco, Paintings image

Hong Kong
Prints from $65
Yayoi Kusama, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 0.1 in
Sold
United States
$380
Prints from $40
Palace, Paintings image

Paintings, 24 W x 18 H x 1 in
United States
Prints from $80
Sunflowers, Paintings image

Paintings, 19.7 W x 19.7 H x 0.2 in
United Kingdom
Prints from $40
Shiny Happy People 2, Paintings image

Paintings, 15.7 W x 23.6 H x 0.6 in
Sold
$560
Prints from $54
The Message, Paintings image

Paintings, 19 W x 31 H x 2 in
Sold
$1 240
Prints from $72
Celebration Seeds, Paintings image

Paintings, 60 W x 40 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$6 000
Prints from $100
Yayoi Kusama portrait, Paintings image

Paintings, 31.5 W x 25.6 H x 0.8 in
Prints from $40
Spring Time Affaire With You No:4, Paintings image

Paintings, 84 W x 50 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$7 250
On a Perfect Day, Paintings image

Paintings, 38 W x 47 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$3 710
I Love You in The Silence of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 42.5 W x 60 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$8 300
I Love The Silence of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 101 W x 66 H x 2.5 in
Sold
United States
$13 700
It Was The Happier Side of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 43 W x 55.5 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$4 350
It Was A Perfect Day, Paintings image

Paintings, 34.5 W x 48.5 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$3 860
I Love You Through The Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 48 W x 48 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$3 810
I Love A Perfect Day, Paintings image

Paintings, 39 W x 50 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$4 020
I Loved You in the Slience of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 54 W x 70 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$6 100
Coming Out Of The Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 36 W x 48 H x 2.5 in
Sold
United States
$3 520
Two Sides of Sunday, Paintings image

Paintings, 52.5 W x 52.5 H x 2 in
Sold
United States
$4 410
When Your Blue I'll Love You, Paintings image

Paintings, 40.5 W x 52.5 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$4 750
An Affaire In The Spring With You, Paintings image

Paintings, 88 W x 60 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$12 550
The Happier Sides of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 165 W x 80 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$25 730
I Love You More Then You Love Me, Paintings image

Paintings, 156 W x 79 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$22 960
#15 Fungi Bungee Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
Sold
India
$150
@@SOLD TO IRELAND@@ Deconstruction No.6371(In Tropical Blue), Paintings image

Canada
$1 000
#7 Raspberry Succulent Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
Sold
India
$150
#9 Laurel & Hardy Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 6 H x 1 in
Sold
India
$150
#1 Fungy Freak, Paintings image

Paintings, 6 W x 5.5 H x 1 in
Sold
India
$150
Luxury Exchange, Paintings image

Paintings, 47.2 W x 47.2 H x 1.6 in
Sold
$4 410
Falling in Love, Paintings image

Paintings, 50 W x 45 H x 2.5 in
Sold
United States
$4 130
Orange Raspberry Freak, 2018, Paintings image

Paintings, 8 W x 10 H x 0.5 in
Sold
India
$150
We Loved in the Silence of Blue, Paintings image

Paintings, 55 W x 55 H x 1.5 in
Sold
United States
$4 700
I Love You More Then You Love Me, Paintings image

Paintings, 156 W x 79 H x 1.5 in
United States
You Are My Only Sunshine, Paintings image

Paintings, 126 W x 67.5 H x 1.5 in
United States
When Kusama began to see hallucinations as a child, her way of coping with the bizarre phenomena was to paint what she saw. She says that art became her way to express her mental disease. This most notably is seen in her Infinity Net paintings based on repetitive patterns and her installations in which she creates elaborate environments overrun with polka dots or tiny points of light.
In much the same fashion as Kusama uses art to process hallucinations, she also uses her work to confront personal phobias, especially a fear of sex stemming from a witnessing of her father’s womanizing. This reveals itself through her “compulsion” soft sculptures and furniture pieces covered in myriad phallic forms.
Her familiarity with fighting for her life, and her compassion for others involved in causes against injustice, led Kusama to briefly associate with many subcultural movements of her time such as the hippie culture of the 1960s and the feminist movement.
For Kusama, artmaking became an essential survival mechanism. It was her sole tool for making sense of a world in which she dwelt on the periphery of normative experience, and as a result, became the very thing that allowed her to assimilate successfully into society.

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