i.e. A hub for creatives to share their pieces and stories. Anyone and everyone feel free to send me your creations of all sorts at: email@example.com. Anonymity is accepted too. *All pictures taken by me, unless mentioned otherwise* *logo by Ryan Hatton, thank you friend*
I am a very restless person. Not in a sort of impatient way, but after some time, I itch for an escape. And perhaps it’s because I continuously look for an out to my mundane responsibilities (feel free to judge, maybe your thoughts will cause a stir in my mentality), but reasons aside, I love to travel. And for some close minded mentality, I always strive to visit wonders outside of the U.S., therefore, recently, after I finished an internship I decided to visit those closest to me. Here is a recount of a 2-week trip, from Philadelphia, New York City, Raleigh, and Wilmington. Thank you, friends, for:
showing me in a different perspective the importance of eating healthy
teaching me how to grill
having insanely philosophical conversations
showing me the beach
and most importantly, taking time out of your days to let me into your homes
Thought # 7: On a separate visit to NYC, in a random impulsive decision fueled by youthful energy, I viewed Times Square at 4 am. Let me tell you, Times Square at 4 am is a docile beast, replete with the never overawe of its lights, but silence, and a handful of people. It is magnificent, I felt free to run around (which we did), wherever I pleased and gawk without worrying if my presence is in someone else’s way. Try it out sometime.
This past weekend I had the lucky chance of visiting Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors exhibit in the Hirshhorn. To say the least, the experience was enthralling and highly engaging. There were many moments whereupon stepping into a room our first reaction was an amazed “wow.” Despite the colorful and enchanting portrayals, the meaning behind her art comes from a very personal perspective and expands to an at large cosmic interpretation of life. Beautifully created, Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors, and curated by Mika Yoshitake, the exhibit is an inevitable experience that must be seen by anyone who can visit.
Guided by her unique vision and unparalleled creativity, critically acclaimed artist Yayoi Kusama has been breaking new ground for more than six decades. In 1993, she became the first woman to represent Japan at the Venice Biennale, and last year, Time magazine named her one of the world’s most influential people. Born in 1929, Kusama grew up near her family’s plant nursery in Matsumoto, Japan.
At nineteen, following World War II, she went to Kyoto to study the traditional Japanese style of painting known as Nihonga. During this time, she began experimenting with abstraction, but it was not until she arrived in the United States, in 1957, that her career took off. Living in New York from 1958 to 1973, Kusama moved in avant-garde circles with such figures as Andy Warhol and Allan Kaprow while honing her signature dot and net motifs, developing soft sculpture, creating installation -based work and staging Happenings (performance-based events). She first used mirrors as a multi-reflective device in Infinity Mirror Room-Phalli’s Field, 1965, transforming the intense repetition that marked some of her earlier works into an immersive experience. In 1973, she returned to Japan, where she has continued to develop her mirrored installations.
Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors is the first exhibition to focus on this pioneering body of work, presenting six rooms, the most ever shown together. The show traces the progression of Kusama’s iconic installations alongside a selection of her other key artworks, highlighting some of her central themes, such as the celebration of life and its aftermath. Ranging from peep-show-like chambers to multimedia installations, each of these kaleidoscopic environments offers the chance to step into an illusion of infinite space. In addition, visitors have the opportunity to grasp the significance of Kusama’s work amidst today’s renewed interest in experiential practices and virtual spaces.
-Excerpt from museum
For Yayoi Kusama, pumpkins represent a source of radiant energy. They are, perhaps, the artist’s most beloved motif, appearing in paintings, drawings, sculptures, and some of her most important installations. Both endearing and grotesque, the giant gourds have been a source of inspiration for Kusama since her childhood, when she was surrounded by her family’s seed nursery in prewar Japan. In one of her autobiographical poems, she writes, “Pumpkins bring about poetic peace in my mind. Pumpkins talk to me.”
The work seen here is a view in conjunction with Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, an exhibition that traces the artist’s iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms over five decades. This landmark show aims to reveal the way in which the installations developed from a strategy of “self-obliteration” during the Vietnam War to a means of social harmony in the present. Each Infinity Mirror Room is presented alongside other key artworks, including a selection of the Kusama’s most recent large-scale paintings and soft sculptures.
-Excerpt from museum
…is an immersive environment that fosters an out-of-body experience, heightens one’s senses, and produces repetitive illusion through the use of lights and mirrors. Similar in appearance to stars in the galaxy, hundreds of LED lights hang and flicker in a rhythmic pattern that seems to suspend both space and time. The visitor becomes integral to this work as his or her body activates the environment while simultaneously vanishing into the infinite space. The ethereal nature of the installation can be traced back to the early 2000s when Kusama began making dimly lit mirrored rooms, a departure from her earlier brightly colored and polka-dotted spaces. Continuing her exploration of the transience of life and the inevitability of death, this installation creates a harmonious and quiet place for visitors to contemplate their existence, reflect on the passage of time, and think about their relationship to the outer world.
Mexico is the intense fervent lover that leaves you gasping for more sultry flavors and exquisite pleasures. The lover whose every word you hang onto so desperately, hungrily searching for a hint of affection or an ephemeral wisp of attention. Mexico, you are the passionate lover whose slightest brevity of touch can send anyone into a whirlwind of ecstasy.
Like any romance, lust fades when you truly open your eyes and discard the cardboard cutout your being so easily swallowed.
You left me aching. You left me wanting to entrench myself further into your jungle, succumbing to the enchanting Mesoamerican rituals and the eternal exploration of my inward and outward universe. I left when I had already accustomed myself into making my daily customs learning about you, about your past, your present, and future. I left at the peak of my excitement, returning to the mundane reality of working to stay barely afloat within my societal constraints.
But the truth is, you agonize more than any of us could imagine. Your resilient culture and nature is in a constant battle within itself and with others. You struggle to live and stay upright upon the millions of dissipating ashes of the suffering and pillaging you were built upon.
Yet, what keeps you alive is the unsung hero of many other Latin American countries, tu gente. Your people fight internally until no end, enduring the constant frivolous games of the rich and powerful, whose hunger for money is insatiable. They protest and revolt to defend your natural and cultural beauty. El pueblo endures until the straw on their backs can no longer be borne. Your people transverse arduous territory into a gluttonous country who ultimately seeks to exploit you to your bare bones. But you stand, with each aggressive push and shove you stumble and stand up stronger.
I envy your richness. I wanted to consume all of your rare art, interlaced with decades of mesmerizing folklore and incomprehensible beliefs. The intelligence and creativity of your past cultures shocked me, igniting a premature pride in your innovations and advancements way ahead of the white aliens who simply superficially suppressed you. My five senses were appetent to explore you, for my mouth especially experienced delicacies which quickly convinced me to forget all about “beautiful” stereotypical body standards. I laughed, I cried from laughing, and I felt your pain radiating from your diverse ecosystems you so easily welcomed me to visit.
I’ve left you, for now, knowing that this present isn’t our time. But I know I will see you again, in a much more mature state and clarity. I thank you for permitting me to delve into your vulnerabilities and simply giving me more than I could ever return.
“The most traditional style piñata looks a bit like Sputnik, with seven points, each with streamers. These cones represent the seven deadly sins, pecados – greed, gluttony, sloth, pride, envy, wrath and lust. Beautiful and bright, the piñata tempted. Candies and fruits inside represented the cantaros (temptations) of wealth and earthly pleasures.
Thus, the piñata reflected three theological virtues in the catequismo (religious instruction or catechism).”
“As with so many iconic dishes in a country’s culinary heritage, Mexican mole has a creation tale.
The story goes that in the late 17th century, the Dominican sisters of the Convent of Santa Rosa in the city of Puebla heard that the archbishop was to pay a visit. The sisters had to scramble to put a meal together and gathered the ingredients they had — dried chili peppers, chocolate, old bread, nuts and more — to make a sauce for wild turkey. The meal was such a hit with the archbishop, legend has it, that mole became a symbol of Mexican cuisine (up there with the taco).”