In 1968, Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama met with a group of friends at the iconic Alice in Wonderland statue in New York’s Central Park. The mood was upbeat and cheerful, and it looked almost like any regular gathering — until her friends started stripping off their clothes and letting her paint polka dots all over their nude bodies.

To casual onlookers, such a sight might have been rather bizarre. But this was nothing unusual to Kusama. She had staged several similar performances in the Big Apple before, as well as in Germany and Belgium, and referred to them as “Happenings”. Unsurprisingly, the New York police were well-acquainted with her by this point.

unconventional artists
That infamous “Happening” in New York’s Central Park. (Photo: Pinterest)

Kusama’s eccentricities, however, made her even more prominent in the art scene. Her popularity grew after those public performances, and up till today, she’s renowned for her quirky art and love for polka dots. She isn’t the only artist known for her unconventional style — other personalities the likes of English artist Damien Hirst have also made their mark on the art scene with their unusual (and sometimes weird) creations. Hirst, for instance, shocked visitors at his 2012 Tate Modern show with his installation A Thousand Years, which featured a decomposing cow’s head covered in flies and maggots.

Of course, art doesn’t always have to be morbid. Random International specialises in fusing art with science and technology, while Guy Laramée carves jaw-droppingly beautiful landscapes into books. Here are 5 unconventional artists to watch, if you adore anything that’s out of the ordinary.

(Featured photo: Freedom Men Art/Flickr)