The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has released Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity, a children’s book by Sarah Suzuki, illustrated by Ellen Weinstein, telling the artist’s life story. It charts Kusama’s journey from her childhood in Matsumoto, Japan, to her relocation to New York City and her rise to become one of the world’s best loved artists.
Sarah, a curator in the Department of Drawings and Prints at MoMA, worked with Ellen and with consultation from Kusama’s studio to bring the story to life in glorious colour and pattern befitting the artist. “I wanted to capture the essence of Yayoi Kusama’s work while maintaining my own voice,” says Ellen of the project.
“I am a fan of Ms. Kusama’s work and employ a vibrant palette in my work as well. The book begins with her childhood in Japan, the nature she drew from and her passion for art at an early age. We continued the story to follow her days in New York and then her eventual return to Japan.”
The New York-based illustrator painted much of the imagery in gouache before adding some elements digitally. “I immersed myself in Ms Kusama’s work during the sketching process,” Ellen says. “One of my favourite images is the white room with Ms. Kusama painting red dots which cover the space. I incorporated one of the KAWAII dog sculptures in the image… I have a dog myself and love to incorporate them in my work whenever possible! This spread depicts more of a creative state of mind.”
Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity is published by MoMA, New York on 26 September 2017.