The Broad’s special exhibit Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors closed a few weeks ago. Angelinos who missed the show could catch it at the remaining stops, Toronto, Cleveland, or Atlanta, before the collection of six mirror-lined rooms leaves North America.

Yayoi Kusama was born in 1929, in Japan’s Nagano Prefecture. She attained international recognition in 1957 via a solo exhibit, just a few weeks after her arrival in Seattle. Since 1977 she has resided, voluntarily, at a mental hospital in Japan and commuted to her studio daily.

For over an hour I waited in line to purchase the same-day admission ticket. The strategically positioned mirrors, the scintillating LED lights, and awkward reflections of oneself invoked giggle and laughter; I was not awed though. Art mavens dissected and embraced Kusama’s art, labeling it iconoclastic, recalcitrant yet profound. In my eyes, her work enriches the so-called cuteness culture, or simply cute culture, so cute that I wish to own a piece, especially the signature polka dot-clad Kusama Pumpkin, many of which were displayed inside a space entitled “Yayoi Kusama: All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins” – the only room where photos were not allowed.

While searching for that perfect miniature Kusama Pumpkin replica, I came across her Love Forever Tea Towel. Do you own a tea towel? Of course you do. No one would cry foul if you call your dish cloth a tea towel. Vincent van Gogh painted on tea towels when he ran out of canvas. Such an ordinary object with many recorded anecdotes!

Images provided and copyright held by author

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