[Editor’s Note: In 1968, Joey Skaggs rented a Greyhound sighthseeing bus and filled it with 60 bearded and beaded camera totting hippies for the Hippie Bus Tour to Queens, his satirical “cultural exchange tour.” On September 23, 1968, the story went out on the wire and was picked up all over the country including the front page of The New York Daily News, The New York Times and The Today Show. Yayoi Kusama was on the bus, as was a band called The Group Image. When the tour stopped at the Nirvana Headshop in Hillside, Queens, Kusama staged a flesh-in, painting polka dots on six nude dancers.]
Yayoi Kusama is one of Japan’s greatest avant-garde artists. Born in the 1920s in Nagano, Kusama spent nearly two decades from her twenties to forties living in NYC and spearheading crazy art events in Central Park and Brooklyn. She’s shared exhibits with Andy Warhol and Claes Oldenberg and represented Japan at the Venice Bienniale several times in throughout the 90s. The lady has a long history of mental illness, though, having suffered from hallucinations and obsessive thoughts as a child, and now chooses to live in a mental hospital in Tokyo, right near her art studio where she continues to produce masterpieces epitomized by repetitive dots and spots (allegedly inspired by aforementioned childhood hallucinations) to this day.
Her latest exhibits open in Hong Kong and Korea this month.