A Woman to Know: Yayoi Kusama

I am just another dot in the world. — Yayoi

(Yayoi Kusama, "Fireflies on the Water")

Yayoi Kusama is besotted with dots -- dot maps, polka dots, dotted lines, mirror dots and more. The 86-year-old Japanese artist is famous for her zany paintings, bizarre outdoor sculpture and colorful mirror installations. Her personal life is just as notorious as her artistic one: she has lived voluntarily inside a Japanese mental institution since 1977 ("my artwork is an expression of my life, especially of my mental disease")), and she lists other creative luminaries (including Joseph Cornell, my personal favorite artist) as close friends and lovers.

Yayoi has staged performance art orgies, built entire mirror-walled rooms lit by disco balls, posed naked in downtown Manhattan and collaborated with Louis Vuitton. Her most expensive paintings are the "infinity nets," giant white canvases dotted with almost-invisible gray spots. According to The Guardian, she's the most popular artist in the world -- more people attended her museum exhibitions in 2014 than saw work by such famous male artists as Jasper Johns, Ellsworth Kelly and even Andy Warhol.

Add to your reading list:

Read more:

Look more:

Thank you to Sophie Brookover for recommending today's woman to know! Sophie and her pal Margaret H. Willison have an awesomely lady-rrfic newsletter of their own — subscribe here!

*~Send your recommendations for women to know! Reply to this newsletter with your lady and she could be featured in an upcoming edition.~* You can browse the archive here.