Yayoi Kusama – The Greatest Selling Female Artist Of All Time

Yayoi Kusama

IT TAKES GRIT

Yoyoi Kusama might not be a familiar name, but she’s an Icon in the art world.

And not just an Icon, but one of epic proportions. She is the greatest selling female artist of all time.

And it’s not just her art that makes her a genius in every literal sense of the word, but her remarkable tale of hardship, mental illness, discrimination and triumph.

And that triumph was hard fought. It was a lifelong journey. It did not come easy, but by way of resilience and grit to see her dream all the way through. As they say, “better late than never.” She did ultimately arrive and now is revered as a legend in the objectionable world of art.

It came at the end. It came to her late in life. So this is a story of courage and tenacity, determination and dedication along with a story of a great artist.

Let this serve as a reminder or a pep talk to those who’ve been at it for a while. If you’re chasing a dream the chase never ends until you’re there at the gateway of fruition, manifestation will come to pass.

It’s the stick to it that will get you through it. Most people give up cause they don’t have the tenacity – the grit to make it through. The greatest legends were born or grit, the sheer determination to never give up. 

The chase doesn’t stop at forty or fifty or sixty. Yoyoi was in her seventies when she was finally was recognized and honored. And she certainly came full circle even being honored in her native Japan.

THE GREATEST SELLING FEMALE ARTIST 

 

Today she is revered as one of the greatest artists of all time the world over. Revered the greatest selling female artist of all time.

She had been outcast not only by her family, but her entire country as a disgrace. And even that did not stop her.

Irrespective of being alone in this world fighting her own demons in hear head, battling loneliness that exasperated her mental illness she continued. She kept her passion for the canvas alive. She was a creative genius.

And it’s no irony that some of greatest creative genius’ border on insanity or some sort of mental fragility.

And Kusama was no exception to this. She was an imaginative genius. She was a rule breaker and law breaker in the world of art. She came up with ideas that were so outside the norm they in her early days were not revered as art at all.

She fought for the right to be recognized and have her work displayed in some of the greatest galleries around the world alongside white male artists with half her talent.

OVERCOMING DISCRIMINATION IN THE ART WORLD

Andy Warhol even copied her mirrored exhibit literally a few months later at a gallery few blocks over. He mimicked it to a tee. And he wasn’t the only copycat. Check out Artspace Magazine – Pop Art Ripoffs: The 3 Yayoi Kusama Artworks That Warhol, Oldenburg, and Samaras Copied in the ’60s.

And this is when Yayoi gained some sense of the genius that dwell inside her. It was a boost of sorts to have the white male counterpart who’s art was already revered copying your idea. A great compliment of sorts.

And for more on Yoyoi check out this article in CNN – Yoyoi Kusama at 90: How the ‘undiscovered genius became an international sensation.

It seems there is no industry in the history of the world that did not discriminate in a sexist way or racial way. For Yayoi it was both. She was neither male, nor white, but the irony is those who were turned to her genius for inspiration. 

Warhol considered to be a great was essentially a copy-cat. He wasn’t very original at all. 

EFFECTIVE HABITS OF CREATIVE ARTISTS 

 

I recently watched a Ted Talk about the effective habits of creative artists, not just art, but creative artists, who write, paint, whatever that creative outlet is. 

  • They make time for it every single day
  • They never stop
  • They are encouraged to steal from others (not like Warhol – an exact steal, but to get ideas and for inspiration) The notion here being that with enough inspiration from several different artists you come up with your own unique creation 
  • Do it cause you must. Do it for the love it, not for praise 

GOOD ARTISTS COPY. GREAT ARTISTS STEAL.

PABLO PICASSO

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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.