Art History 101
Infinite Patterns: Through the Eyes of Yayoi Kusama
Born in 1929 in Matsumoto, Japan, Yayoi Kusama is a global art star and pop culture icon. Kusama began drawing the plants and flowers around her family’s seed farm at the age of 10, which was also when she began experiencing vivid hallucinations of flashes of light and dense fields of dots. By channeling her visions into her drawings, Kusama used her art to cope with her difficult home life and escape her mind. Kusama, who will soon turn 94 and is now the best-selling living female artist, has brought her plant motifs and dots of scribble to viral paintings, sculptures, fashion and installations.
Kusama’s last decades as a volunteer patient at a psychiatric hospital in Japan have been her most commercially successful. Since her arrival, 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 obliteration room, an installation that begins as a white interior that visitors are encouraged to “erase” with sheets of round colored stickers. Since 1963, he has continued with his series of Infinity Rooms, vertiginous mirrored rooms that infinitely repeat their dotted patterns in a vertiginous space. His popularity has skyrocketed thanks to platforms like Instagram, with viewers around the world willing to wait in line for hours in museums, shops and parks to see his installations in timed viewing slots as short as 30 seconds. With its unprecedented scope and ambition, Kusama’s work continues to take us out of ourselves into infinity.
These five Saatchi Art artists create works in the same style and spirit as Kusama. Browse these artists’ portfolios to discover how they use dots and patterns to create their artwork.
Born in Romania in 1984, Simina Badea spent her childhood summer vacations surrounded by animals and nature. Her artistic practice is inspired by the beauty and mystery she sees in the repetitive structures found all around us in the natural world. Simina invites viewers to discover the infinite possibilities within her timeless, meditative and dynamic patterns. Since she moved to Vienna in 2003 and graduated from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts in 2008, Simina has exhibited throughout Austria, with shows also in Macedonia, Turkey and Japan. See his portfolio here.
London-based artist Naomi Vona combines her interests in photography, collage and illustration to alter old and contemporary found images and create her own new interpretations. Naomi’s work reflects her life, background, inspirations and her subconscious. Fascinated by the past, Naomi uses her patterns and her color combinations to keep time and space suspended. Originally from Italy, Naomi earned her own degree in Design and Photography from the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan. She has exhibited extensively at art fairs, group and solo shows in Europe and the United States. See his 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-ophthalmological condition that causes her to see a veil of colored dots patterned across her entire field of vision. Jennifer’s work often incorporates found and recycled objects and materials, demonstrating that pattern and beauty exist in seemingly imperfect things. Her work is in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. See his 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 technology-filled lives of her viewers. See his portfolio here.
Kent-based artist Amelia Coward is renowned for her explorations of mixing and matching colors to create abstract shapes and patterns. She has a Master of Arts from the Royal College of Art and is influenced by her training in woven textiles by cutting and reassembling geometric shapes into patchwork compositions. Amelia has a growing international profile; Her work can be found in private and corporate collections around the world. See his portfolio here.
Do you love reading about everything related to art? You can get curated collections, stories about emerging artists, and more delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for the Saatchi Art Newsletter.