Our cover this month, Lemon Squash by Yayoi Kusama, sold for HK $275,000 at Phillips 20th Century & Contemporary Art & Design Day Sale on May 26, 2019 in Hong Kong. Fittingly described as an “international sensation” in a recent CNN article, Kusama, who just celebrated her 90th birthday in March, is showing no signs of slowing down. She continues to churn out traveling art installations and infinity rooms that command hours-long wait times, rain or shine.
With her instantly recognizable work and international popularity, it’s hard to imagine that Kusama has overcome childhood trauma, psychological disorders and the predominantly male-dominated art industry of her time (whose members often imitated her work and received the critical acclaim for it) to become the highest netting female artist she is today.
Some may wonder if the late recognition of Kusama’s work was because she was ahead of her time. Kusama’s interactive medium—for example the aforementioned infinity rooms and last month’s installation of giant mirrored balls at the 2019 Frieze Fair in New York City (see photo inset)—plays into our Instagram-obsessed generation perfectly. And, while there’s no doubt that Kusama’s rise in popularity is in large part thanks to the onslaught of social media, what many don’t know is that Kusama’s first infinity room actually dates back circa 1965, which makes her a true pioneer of the instagrammable art installation pop-ups that have taken over of late.
With modern advances in medicine, it’s no surprise that many clients, just like Kusama, are working well past retirement age. It’s still important to get the ball rolling early however, as Mark Miller’s article, “Medicare: The Next Frontier,” p. 52, rightfully reminds us, particularly when it comes to the Medicare enrollment process.