MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama’s career spans six decades. The 91-year-old’s uber popular “Infinity Mirror Rooms,” which first debuted in 1965, are immersive exhibits that produce a surreal effect through reflection and repetition.
At ICA Miami in the Miami Design District, Kusama is making her South Florida debut with her exhibit called “All The Eternal Love I Have For Pumpkins.“
It’s a mesmerizing array of Kusama’s signature spotted pumpkins within a mirror-lined room aglow with LED lighting. The illusion is an infinite number of pumpkins.
In reality, you are looking at the reflection of about 100 polka-dot painted acrylic pumpkins.
“The pumpkin is a theme that Kusama has worked since childhood. One of the things that we know about this Mirror Infinity Room is that it combines the pumpkin with the polka, dot and very early in in her career she used the polka dot,” said ICA’s Artistic Director Alex Gartenfeld.
Kusama’s career is one that reached true heights only in the last decade.
“Kusama has perhaps a bigger following than the art world itself, she is one of most popular artists in the world,” Gartenfeld said. “Every Thursday we are free to the public and the line is around the block.”
It is well known that Kusama suffered mental illness throughout her life.
“She used the polka dot as a way to cover surfaces almost incessantly but also in a way she might describe as different than a man. Filling a surface in a gestural way, because it’s a way of making craft, but for the artist herself it was meditative moves,” Gartenfeld explained.
Search #KusamaPumpkins or #infinityrooms on Instagram and you’ll see a frenzy of photos from around the world.
At ICA, which stands for the Institute of Contemporary Art, guests enter into the mirror room, stay one minute, find contemplation, take a selfie and move on.
“Perhaps one of the reasons why Kusama is so popular is because her work has so much to say about our digital age. A young generation of art lovers has truly come to the art experience and to the museum through things like the Kusama pumpkins,” Gartenfeld said. “Kusama infinity rooms are certainly a place for a selfie and we encourage that, but it’s also a place for meditation and for self-reflection, and we hope that visitors will enjoy both.”
“All The Eternal Love I Have For Pumpkins” is on at ICA Miami from Thursdays through Sundays until the end of January. For more info, visit: icamiami.org.