Art History 101
Infinite Patterns: Through the Eyes of Yayoi Kusama
Born in Matsumoto, Japan in 1929, Yayoi Kusama is an art world star and pop culture icon. Kusama began drawing the plants and flowers around her family’s seed farm at the age of 10. It was also at this point that she experienced vivid hallucinations of flashes of light and dense arrays of dots for the first time. Infusing her visions into her drawings, Kusama used her art to help her navigate her difficult family life and escape her thoughts. Kusama, who will soon be 94 and is now the best-selling artist alive, has transferred her plant and dot motifs from doodles to paintings, sculpture, fashion and viral installations.
Kusama’s final decades as a voluntary patient at a psychiatric hospital in Japan were her most commercially successful. Since her admission she has developed her most iconic and complex works: in 1994 she made the first of her outdoor sculptures, pumpkin. In 2002 she oversaw the first instantiation of extinction space, an installation that begins as a white interior space that visitors are asked to “erase” with sheets of circular colorful stickers. Since 1963 she has continued her series of Infinity Rooms, dizzying mirrored rooms that endlessly repeat their dot patterns in a dizzying space. Her popularity has skyrocketed through platforms like Instagram, and viewers from around the world are willing to queue for hours at museums, shops and parks to catch a glimpse of her installations, for limited time slots of just 30 seconds. With its unprecedented scope and ambition, Kusama’s work continues to draw us out of ourselves and toward infinity.
These five Saatchi Art artists create work in the same style and spirit as Kusama. Explore the portfolios of these artists and discover how they use dots and patterns to create their artworks.
Simina Badea was born in Romania in 1984 and spent her childhood summer holidays surrounded by animals and nature. Her artistic practice is inspired by the beauty and mystery she observes in the repeating structures found throughout nature around us. Simina invites the viewer to explore the endless possibilities of her timeless, meditative and dynamic patterns. Since moving to Vienna in 2003 and graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 2008, Simina has exhibited throughout Austria, including Macedonia, Turkey and Japan. Check out her portfolio Here.
London-based artist Naomi Vona combines her interests in photography, collage and illustration to transform old and contemporary found images and create her own new interpretations. Naomi’s work reflects her life, background, inspirations and subconscious. Fascinated by the past, Naomi uses her patterns and color combinations to suspend time and space. Originally from Italy, Naomi graduated in Design and Photography from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. She has exhibited extensively at art fairs, as well as group and solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States. Check out her portfolio Here.
Australian artist Jennifer Bell is known for her intricate paintings that explore pattern and visual perception. She is influenced and inspired by a neuro-ophthalmic condition that causes her to see a haze of patterned dots of color in her visual field. Found and recycled objects and materials are often used in Jennifer’s work, showing that pattern and beauty exist in seemingly imperfect things. Her work is in private collections throughout Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Check out her portfolio Here.
Rita Somogyi, born in Hungary, is a graphic designer and painter. Her current work focuses on the convergence of abstract patterns and the ever-changing ecology of the natural world. Inspired by ink painting, abstract expressionism and prima materia techniques, Rita hopes her work will add a touch of organic spirituality to the tech-filled lives of her viewers. Check out her portfolio Here.
Kent-based artist Amelia Coward is known for her explorations in blending and blending colors to create abstract shapes and patterns. She has a Masters of Arts from the Royal College of Art and is influenced by her training in the textile industry in the cutting and joining of geometric shapes into patchwork compositions. Amelia has a growing international profile; Her work can be found in private and corporate collections worldwide. Check out her portfolio Here.
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