Yayoi Kusama’s Infinite Love for Pumpkins

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"All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumplkins" by Yayoi Kusama. Photo credit: Kelly Kolff

There is an overwhelming sense of anticipation when waiting to view the Dallas Museum of Art’s most recent exhibition, Yayoi Kusama’s “All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins.” Timed tickets in hand, DMA members wander into the single room with a large, white box taking up its center. As the door to the box opens, museum goers are transported to Kusama’s infinite liminal world of pumpkins.

For all of the anticipation and hype surrounding the exhibition, 45 seconds does not feel nearly long enough.

“It’s very quick but I think it’s worth it,” exhibit goer Bobby Vassallo said. “I could stay in there for four or five minutes more.”

Yet, the idea of forking over $16 for 45 seconds of infinity deterred Vassallo from seeing it again. When asked if he would return, her replied with a simple, “probably not.”

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"All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumplkins" by Yayoi Kusama. Photo credit: Kelly Kolff

Kusama’s infinity mirror rooms are notorious for their instagrammable appeal and sold-out exhibitions. The Broad in Los Angeles features a permanent installation and will soon have an exhibition full of her works. Yet , the DMA has only procured one, which leaves people wanting more.

“It’s a pity that they don’t have more of her works,” artist and fan of Kusama Daniel Eichenberg said.

It is an interesting concept and leads one to ponder: does the lack of satisfaction from such a short exhibit execute what Kusama’s point was the whole time? If an art piece leaves you wanting more, doesn’t that achieve what it’s set out to do?

“I like it when art borders on, how do you say, insanity,” Eichenberg said.

If Kusama was trying to achieve the feeling of disorienting insanity, she succeeded. The room itself is quite small. One steps onto a platform and into the room, only given roughly a four foot space to stand in. There are mirrors on all sides, reflecting the image of not only the viewer but of 62 yellow, glowing pumpkins with black polka dots.

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The entrance to the mirror room. Photo credit: Kelly Kolff

There is an immersive quality to Kusama’s works. The mirror room leaves you wanting to stay trapped in its confines for as long as possible, even knowing full well that your eyes would tire and your head would begin to spin. As soon as you begin to get lost in the room, the time is up, and the door opens up to the real world.

“All the Eternal Love I Have for Pumpkins” will be on display until Feb. 25, 2018.

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