tag Sign Up for our Newsletter
Site Logo
Don’t miss out on the art world’s most entertaining newsletter - every Friday. And career news every Tuesday.
Become a members
Artists You Will Love If You Are Obsessed With Dots
For those with a penchant for a polkadot
Art Stuff 14 Jan 2020

The art world has recently lost a great – John Baldessari (1931 – 2020), well-known for his work with dots. And, while Baldessari’s legacy will last forever, he was not the first, and will not be the last artist to go dotty over spots. So, without further ado, here are some of our favourites!


Yayoi Kusama

How could we not start with the queen of dots? Yayoi Kusama is a dot icon. Everything she touches turns into hundreds of tiny balls, with the artist covering everything from pumpkins to infinity rooms into polkadots. Being true to her theme, Kusama even dresses in dots too!


Damien Hirst

View this post on Instagram

Photo by @mariotestino @sophieambercannell

A post shared by Damien Hirst (@damienhirst) on

Damien Hirst is famous for his spot paintings. Anyone who’s anyone seems to have one (do you?). Hirst loves a good dot so much, that he even painted his girlfriend in them. We’re not sure we’ll go that far though…


Roy Lichtenstein

View this post on Instagram

Sleeping Girl 1964

A post shared by Roy Lichtenstein (@roylichtenstein) on

Bringing the polkadot to the world of comic-book art, Roy Lichtenstein managed to make dozens of little dots look just as vibrant as swathes of paint. His dot-filled work is quite simply iconic.


John Baldessari

View this post on Instagram

Flash Art mourns the loss of #JohnBaldessari (1931–2020) one of the most brilliant mind of our times. We remember the artist through this extensive interview “John Baldessari. BEFORE DAY FALLS“ by publisher @geapoliti originally appeared in #237 Jul—Sept 2004 (link in bio) “GP: Do you ever get bored of your works? JB: No, Boredom propels me. I made a famous piece where I said, “I will not make any more boring art.” And I think it’s the worst thing, but it’s also the best thing because if I get bored more easily than most people, then I’m going to be aware of not boring people. Whereas they probably wouldn’t notice. And I think that’s the best thing that can propel your art, when it doesn’t bore people. But you know, I’m putting a slightly large definition on the word boring. You know, I’m saying, “Be interesting.” That’s what I’m saying.” Image: John Baldessari, Person on Bed (Blue): With Large Shadow (Orange) and Lamp (Green), 2004. Three dimensional archival print with acrylic paint. 213×191 cm. Courtesy of @mariangoodmangallery. Cover image of Flash Art no. 237 Jul—Sept 2004. #FlashArtMagazine #johnbaldessari #rip #geapoliti #beforedayfalls #interview #archive #contemporaryart #mariangoodmangallery

A post shared by Flash Art (@flashartmagazine) on

Of course we weren’t going to complete this list without him. Baldessari is known for photographing his subjects and then painting a dot over their faces. Simple, but effective.


Fernando Botero

So technically, Fernando Botero doesn’t paint dots. But, he does have a tendency for making things round and chubby – so basically turning anything he touches into a polkadot. Somehow, he even manages to make oranges look more round than they already are. And that my friends, is a dotty talent. 


Takashi Murakami

View this post on Instagram

PANDA painting 2019:02

A post shared by Takashi Murakami (@takashipom) on

Again, Murakami isn’t known for his dots, but much of his work is round, smiley and fun. Many of his paintings are made in the round too, so basically, he is painting on large-scale dots. 


Chuck Close

Chuck Close’s paintings are basically representations of when you zoom in too much on your photographs on your pictures. Except, when Chuck Close does it, it looks good. Making dotty art look photo-realistic, Chuck Close, we salute you!


Georges Seurat

Finishing with the king of dots, Georges Seurat is perhaps the most famous pointillist painter. Worth millions today, the French artist was a pioneer of the dot-format, and we suspect that all of the artists mentioned above have a lot to thank him for.


Text Lizzy Vartanian

You May Also Like

The Creative Girl's Rules Of Work
The Creative Girl's Rules Of Work
What to See & Do Around Frieze LA
What to See & Do Around Frieze LA
Hellos and Goodbyes
Hellos and Goodbyes
Female Led Exhibitions We Cannot Wait To See In 2021
Female Led Exhibitions We Cannot Wait To See In 2021
5 Questions to Ask Yourself To Overcome Moments of Career Panic
5 Questions to Ask Yourself To Overcome Moments of Career Panic
How to Stop Being Nervous About Tomorrows Job Interview
How to Stop Being Nervous About Tomorrows Job Interview


Digital and Marketing
Sarabande Foundation - London, UK
Freelance Designer
Klick - Paris, Île-de-France, France
Manager, Arts & Social Practice
Obama Foundation - Chicago, USA
Gallery Intern
C. Stuart and Jane H. Hunt Art Gallery - Buffalo, NY, USA