Yayoi Kusama, the revolutionary Japanese artist best known for her eccentric sculpture, paintings, and performance art, has been heavily copied and referenced in her 50+ year career, from Andy Warhol to bizarre Instagram museum spots. Now, however, Kusama is considering legal action against several art exhibitions in China that show counterfeit works of art.
Counterfeit pieces attributed to Kusama and another Japanese artist, Takashi Murakami, have been displayed in at least six Chinese cities this year, according to the Guardian. Although most exhibitions were shown to the public for free, an exhibition in Changsha cost about £ 7 to enter. The Changsha show can still be seen. A show in Shanghai has already been closed following threats from Kusama’s team.
The exhibitions featured fake versions of Kusama’s famous polka dot installations.
The Yayoi Kusama Foundation confirmed that all exhibitions in China have used counterfeit works without their permission. “Such acts are a serious violation of the artist’s copyright, international fame and brand, and harm the interests of the foundation,” it said in a statement. “These dishonest acts are a particularly vicious violation of public morality and decency, and a despicable violation of the originality and copyright of all artists. We therefore strongly condemn these actions. ”
According to NHK, Kusama’s lawyers are trying to find out who organized the fraud displays and intend to take legal action over copyright law.
If you want to see the real deal, London gallery Victoria Miro is currently showing Yayoi Kusama: THE MOVING MOMENT WHEN I WENT TO THE UNIVERSE from October 3rd to December 21st. Kusama presents the Infinity Mirror Room “MY HEART IS DANCING INTO THE UNIVERSE”, which is filled with ornaments from Kusama’s childhood, paper lanterns and pumpkins.
A documentary about Kusama’s life, painful backstory, and groundbreaking art, Kusama: Infinity, is also available now.