'Kusama: Infinity' - Movie Review

A bit more than a year ago I saw the Infinity Mirrors display at the AGO. I had only been peripherally aware of Kusama prior to that, but I immediately became a big fan. So I was very interested to see this movie about her.

I wasn't surprised to hear that she had an unpleasant - verging on traumatic - childhood. Nor that she was just generally a very weird lady her entire life. But she's an artist with a history of unusual artworks, cutting her own path rather than following anyone else's. The movie shows fairly clearly that in 1960s New York she had few shows and few sales (she's Japanese, and female, and in-your-face, not a combination that worked well in New York at the time), but she had a massive influence on other artists - who took her innovations and ran with them. She returned to Japan, and in 1977 checked into the Seiwa Hospital for the Mentally Ill. She resides there to this day, walking two blocks to her studio every day where she works.

In the late 1990s her work began to show all over the world - she is now the most sought after and most expensive living female artist in the world. They don't mention it directly, but it certainly seems like she's incredibly dedicated to her work: she works long hours every day and produces thousands of artworks.

Even if you don't like her art, her weird and not entirely pleasant life makes for interesting viewing.