Last night I was invited to the Hirshhorn for a special preview of Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. Kusama's work is way more than the sum of its parts. I mean, I was standing there thinking, "I'm basically inside a mirrored plywood box with some lights WHY AM I FEELING SO MANY FEELINGS?" 

The absurd and inspiring interior of Infinity Mirrored Room — All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins.

It seems pumpkins do not inspire much respect. But I was enchanted by their charming and winsome form. What appealed to me most was the pumpkin’s generous unpretentiousness. That and its solid spiritual base.
—Yayoi Kusama

Six of Kusama's iconic infinity rooms are on display, in addition to more than 60 large-scale, installations, paintings, sculptures, and works on paper from the early 1950s to the present.

Above: the interior of Infinity Mirrored Room — Phalli's Field (Floor Show).

Above: the interior of Infinity Mirrored Room — All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins.
Below: the interior of Dots Obsession — Love Transformed into Dots.

My favorite piece and, of course, the one that's most difficult to photograph is Infinity Mirrored Room — Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity. Flickering lights of varying intensities hover in mirrored darkness and left me feeling like a supermassive being suspended alone in the universe. I would spend an entire day in this piece if the Hirshhorn staff would allow me.

Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos. Polka dots are a way to infinity.
—Yayoi Kusama

Wrapping up the exhibition is The Obliteration Room which begins as an all-white replica of a typical living space (all the furniture was donated by IKEA). Upon entering the space, visitors are handed a sheet of polka dot stickers of various sizes and encouraged to cover every surface of the room with them. Over the course of the exhibition, the room will eventually morph from all white into an explosion of randomly patterned color. I love this piece because it begs the question, "What is the actual piece of art and who exactly is the artist?" Is the piece of art the idea inside Kusama's mind? Or is the piece of art the physical space in the gallery? Is the artist Kusama, herself? The Hirshhorn staff who arranged and installed the IKEA furniture? Is the artist IKEA? Or is it me simply because I put a sticker on the wall?

Above, last two photos: my friend Albert (@pootie_ting) closed out our time with Kusama by playing the piano in The Obliteration Room.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors at the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is on view from Feb. 23, 2017, to May 14, 2017. Timed passes are needed to see the exhibition and can be snagged here.

Sometimes my friend Andy makes videos when we do things. Check out his blog for more photos and his take on the evening.