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Yayoi Kusama nabs top spot as world's most popular artist

The Japanese artist has been named the most beloved living artist of the year

Who is the most in-demand artist of this day and age? Gerhard Richter? Richard Prince? Sorry, old white males; it's Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, famous for her polka-dot creations and collaborating with Louis Vuitton. The 86 year old has been named the most popular living artist today by the Art Newspaper.

According to figures, her travelling retrospective Yayoi Kusama: Infinite Obsession attracted the biggest global audience of art fans last year. The show attracted more than two million visitors as it hopped across countries in South America, drawing an average of about 9,000 people a day. Tickets to her Mexico City stop-off were so popular that the Museo Tamayo had to stay open for 36 hours straight to accommodate demand. For comparison's sake, the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art – its most successful show ever – drew about 662,000 spectators. 

Kusama has been making art since she was ten, with her career spanning painting, sculpture, drawing, film, performance art and writing. She's even worked with Marc Jacobs when he headed up Louis Vuitton, lending her pattern-obsessed eye to a hugely successful ready-to-wear collection in 2012. 

Her staggering audience pulling power isn't only groundbreaking thing about her – in 2008, Kusama sold a work for $5.1 million, then a record for any living female artist. Given that the art world is still dominated by men, her global popularity can only be a good thing.