The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York is always a big event, drawing visitors from far and wide, and as an added bonus, the work of a famous Japanese artist will feature in the parade this year on 28 November. 

Yayoi Kusama 1.jpg
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama working on a painting in her studio © Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert/Getty Images

Yayoi Kusama is one of the world's top-selling living female artists, and while she works primarily in sculpture and installation, she is also active in painting, performance, film and other arts. For the 93rd annual parade, which will be attended by 3.5 million spectators and watched by more than 50 million viewers, Yayoi will be joining the parade’s Blue Sky Gallery. This is a series of balloons that highlight inflatable artworks by some of the world’s most renowned contemporary artists. Yayoi's balloon is called “Love Flies Up to the Sky,” and it was developed by the artist from face motifs that appear in her 'My Eternal Soul' series of paintings - a body of work that she began in 2009.

Yayoi Kusama's colourful balloon for the Macy's Thanksgiving parade.
Yayoi Kusama's balloon is called “Love Flies Up to the Sky” © Business Wire

Yayoi's balloon artwork is being transformed under her guidance into high-flying art by the artists of Macy’s Parade Studio. Using their expertise in 3D modelling, aerodynamic design and fabrication, the balloon specialists have constructed the work of art and painstakingly painted more than 300 of Kusama’s signature dots on the multidimensional face and radiant biomorphic shapes that make up the design.

The opening float of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade
The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade takes place annually in New York © Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

“In 2005, we began featuring inflatable artworks by the world’s most renowned contemporary artists in the Macy’s Parade line-up, with the hope of bringing fine art to the masses and making it more accessible,” says Susan Tercero, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “We can’t wait for millions to enjoy the hypnotic, colourful and whimsical beauty of 'Love Flies Up to the Sky' this Thanksgiving.”

The parade coincides with an exhibition of 40 paintings from Yayoi Kusama's 'My Eternal Soul' series, which will take place at the David Zwirner gallery in New York from 9 November to 14 December.

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