Yayoi Kusama will join Toronto’s art and pop culture scene this spring.

Yayoi Kusama, Photo by Tomoaki Makino

Kusama (pronounced as if the k and u are silent) embodies the tricky median between sculpture and painting, and is an original performance artist in the 1960s New York art scene. But her contributions to the world of fashion have yet to find their well-deserved place. Back in 2012, the Japanese artist lent her signature dot stratification to Louis Vuitton for their collection under Marc Jacobs. This was a tame conceptualization of her fashion flavour. In the 60s, the Queen of the Free Love in the Big Apple was making clothing that could hold groups of people. The Kusama Fashion Co. Ltd coined the garment as the orgy gown. Here began her theme of interaction between art and the public.

Infinity Mirrors: Fashion and Beyond

Kusama is one of the highest grossing living artists to date. Her traveling exhibition Infinity Mirrors will be on display from March 3 to May 27, 2018 at the Art Gallery of Ontario, which features six different contained rooms that use light as core energy. The lights and mirrored walls ignite the viewer experience, yielding to the creation of the perfect Instagram experience. Lined with mirrored glass, one of the rooms is too compact to enter. Love Forever is lit by tiny coloured casino-like Edison bulbs and emits heat that flitters out of the peephole. Talk about burning love.

Gleaming Lights of the Souls by Yayoi Kusama. Courtesy Louisia Museum of Modern Art

As do dots, mirrors play a recurring role in Kusama’s art. Her Narcissus Garden is a conception of the Ancient Greek myth, with polished stainless steel spheres deliberately scattered across the gallery floor. Narcissus Garden will be on display at the AGO this year for a regular admission fee from February 24 to April 29.

Kusama refracts how we perceive art as visual stimulation to an interactive, emotional experience. Using materials like mirrors and lights, she is the epitome of our social draw to our curated self. After all, we know this will be the exhibit to Instagram.

Love Forever room. Image courtesy of Tony Kiracou/Rex Features

In fashion, we also dress to curate ourselves. As if we, ourselves, were the lighted boxes to peek inside, every day we create our personal universes through our outfits. Kusama’s art and sculpture as energy to be traded equates to how fashion creates a world for its wearer. She is as much a tactile experience as she is a performance artist, an architect, or any sort of visual poet.

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