Art is subjective and attempting to interpret one’s inspiration or muse for their creative endeavors only leads inquiring minds down a path of the gullibility and ignorance. There’s no right way to decipher or analyze artistic stimulus but, as participating members of the culture, it’s better to live in the conscious moment while in a state of observation of artistic subject matter rather than judge the subject matter’s significance. And what 89-year-old Japanese artist, Yayoi Kusama, has curated in an abandoned garage in New York’s Rockaway Peninsula is unexplainable yet majestically brilliant, and aesthetically pleasing.
Since 1977, Yayoi Kusama has lived and worked in a studio located near a Tokyo psychiatric facility and frequently brings her work stateside to inspire the masses. And this time’s back to shake up the art scene with an interactive artwork landscape.
This environmental canvas turned art exhibit is Kusama’s latest rendition of her 52-year-old, Narcissus Garden series, which is now officially an art installation for Rockaway!, a biannual art program established in 2014 to encourage the redevelopment of the surrounding community affected by 2012’s Hurricane Sandy.
The Narcissus Garden is located in a severely damaged abandoned industrial structure in Fort Tilden, which at one point in time was an authorized United States military base from the early 1800s until the 1970s. The building was utilized as a train garage during its heyday but was stranded after the military relocated, left to ruin. The garage suffered further damage in 2012 during the disastrous category one catastrophe, Hurricane Sandy, and is now home to broken windows, rusted industrial steel beams, and vivid graffiti artwork.
Kusama’s artistic offering to the deserted space comes in the form of 1,500 metallic-mirrored balls that are aimlessly spread throughout the entire structure creating a beautiful contrast of tones. The mirrored projection the spheres produce in combination with the disastrous conditions of the garage and various brightly-colored graffiti calligraphy provides viewers with a strange sense of unification. The polished surfaces of the spherical shells and the rough textures of their surroundings are contradictory but surprisingly blend excellently together.
The first ever curation of the Narcissus Garden took place in 1966 at the 33rd Venice Biennale (pictured below) and has been repurposed and relocated in a multitude different artistic settings and to this day still has the ability to attract the attention of art enthusiasts.
The Narcissus Garden in New York’s Rockaway Peninsula has been on public display since July 1st and will remain a public interactive artwork until September 3rd, officially supervised by the Queens-based Museum of Modern Art PS1, better known as MoMA PS1.
This art installation might not invoke the same emotion it does for the next individual and some might not find purpose in this rendition of the Narcissus Garden at all but, as brothers and sisters of a forever morphing artistic culture we should all be able to admit that this is art in its purest form.
If you’re in the New York area and interested in checking out the Narcissus Garden, do so before the installation is gone at the beginning of September [3rd].
Respect to the inspiring queen herself, the beautiful Yayoi Kusama.
Photos By Pablo Enriquez