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Art

Cosmic Nature: A Spectacular Polka Dot-Filled Exhibition by Yayoi Kusama Sprawls Across New York Botanical Garden

April 9, 2021

Grace Ebert

Now inhabiting the verdant, 250-acre campus of the New York Botanical Garden are oversized flowers sprouting in seasonal arrangements, a glowing pumpkin-packed infinity room, and a sea of 1,400 reflective spheres by Yayoi Kusama (previously). Teeming with squiggly sculptures, site-specific installations, and smaller pieces covered in the Japanese artist’s iconic polka dots, Cosmic Nature is an expansive exhibition celebrating decades of Kusama’s bold, joyful body of work.

Four new pieces are debuting during the immersive show, like the tentacled creature that marks the entrance to the grounds. Others include a 16-foot-tall dancing pumpkin, an obliteration greenhouse, and a new infinity room that reflects the lush greenery of the outdoor environment. Coupled with a variety of smaller acrylic paintings, fabric sculptures, and drawings on paper—the earliest of which dates back to 1945— the most recent works establish a broad visual trajectory of Kusama’s fixation on the natural world and never-ending penchant for polka dots.

While many of the playful blooms connect to larger themes about the human relationship to the environment, some pieces are distinctly personal, including “Flower Obsession,” which invites visitors into a space that mimics the artists’ own greenhouse. “Our earth is only one polka dot among a million stars in the cosmos…when we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environment,” the prolific artist notably said.

Cosmic Nature opens this weekend at the Bronx venue and runs through October 31. (via Hyperallergic)

 

“I Want to Fly to the Universe” (2020), the New York Botanical Garden, urethane paint on aluminum, 157 3/8 x 169 3/8 x 140 1/8 inches. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner. All images via New York Botanical Garden

“Dancing Pumpkin” (2020), view at the New York Botanical Garden, urethane paint on bronze, 196 7/8 x 116 7/8 x 117 ¼ inches. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner

“Narcissus Garden” (1966/2021), view at The New York Botanical Garden, 1,400 stainless steel spheres, installation dimensions variable. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts

“Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees” (2002/2021), view at the New York Botanical Garden, printed polyester fabric, bungees, and aluminum staples installed on existing trees, site-specific installation, dimensions variable. Collection of the artist

“My Soul Blooms Forever” (2019), view at the New York Botanical Garden, urethane paint on stainless steel, installation dimensions variable. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro, and David Zwirner

“Pumpkins Screaming About Love Beyond Infinity” (2017), mirrors, acrylic, glass, LEDs, and wood panels, 59 x 59 x 83 ½ inches. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts

“Hymn of Life—Tulips” (2007), mixed media, installation dimensions variable, courtesy of the City of Beverly Hills

“Life” (2015), view at the New York Botanical Garden, fiberglass-reinforced plastic, tiles, and resin, installation dimensions variable. Collection of the artist, courtesy of Ota Fine Arts and David Zwirner

 

 



Craft

Creepy Pumpkin Carving Timelapse

October 31, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Happy Halloween folks. Here’s a pretty spooky animation of a pumpkin carved by Brooklyn-based artist and pro pumpkin carver Chris Soria based on an illustration by Jason Smith. The piece took about 15 hours to carve. If you liked this, don’t miss Rot from last year. (via And is Better)

Update: The clip was created and directed by Joe Vaughn.

 

 



Art

Killer Pumpkin Arrangements at the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze

October 29, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Copyright Bryan Haeffele for Historic Hudson Valley

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Copyright Bryan Haeffele for Historic Hudson Valley

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Copyright Joshua Bousel

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Copyright Joshua Bousel

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Copyright Joshua Bousel

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Copyright Joshua Bousel

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Held every year in New York, the Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze is a 25-night-long Halloween event featuring some 5,000 hand-carved, illuminated pumpkins arranged into dinosaurs, sea monsters, zombies, and other spooky sculptural forms. Via Instagram:

Although only associated with Halloween as we know it today since the late 1800s, the tradition of gourd carving dates back to the 18th and 19th centuries in rural Ireland and England. People created jack o’lanterns for the old holidays of Samhain and All Souls’ Night when spirits were thought to be the most active. Grotesque faces carved into the objects were meant to frighten away any ghouls seeking to do harm.

See many more photos over on Flickr and Facebook. Several photos above courtesy Joshua Bousel and Bryan Haeffele. (via the Instagram Blog)

 

 



Design

Pumpktris: A Fully Playable Version of Tetris Inside a Carved Pumpkin

October 30, 2012

Christopher Jobson

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So what do you get when you cross one of the world’s most popular video games of all time and a giant orange squash? Pumpktris. The days of goblins, witches, and slack-jawed faces carved into pumpkins are officially over, and forget hyper realistic zombie hoards. Nathan over at the DIY website HahaBird upgraded his pumpkin this year using 125 embedded LEDs and other hardware that makes use of the pumpkin’s stem as a joystick resulting in a playable game of Tetris that can even keep score. If you’re interested he carefully documented everything in this handy Pumpktris tutorial. Unless your porch has an arcade including Pumpkin Mario Bros. this Halloween, you’re basically not even trying. (via prosthetic knowledge)

 

 

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