Monday, January 28, 2008

Murakami at MOCA

This weekend we finally found some time and headed down to Geffen Contemporary Museum at MOCA for the Murakami exhibit. We got there around 4:00pm and found the line snaked around the building. I don't know if everyone decided to venture out after being held prisoner from the dreary Los Angeles rain, or if people were inspired to catch the exhibit because it's closing next weekend. Regardless, I have never seen it so crowded there before. We sucked it up and stood in line for about 15 minutes until some nice dude from the museum walking down the line informed us that members get to enter immediately. Off we went to the front of the line. Thank you, nice dude that works at MOCA! Murikami's works are a mix between anime and comic book art with a splash (or five) of an acid trip. The exhibit takes over the entire MOCA space, which is no easy feat. It features over 90 artworks in various forms of media, from paintings, sculptures, even commercials and a Louis Vuitton boutique that actually sells merchandise! I saw a sugar daddy pull out his black American Express card and purchase three purses for his girlfriend. Don't they only make like, 100 of those black Amex cards worldwide? Fancypants.

MOCA didn't allow photography inside this particular exhibit, which is a downright shame. Every where you turn you're hit with cool images and brightly colored sculptures that just scream, "PHOTO OP!!!" Below are images I stole off the internet...sorry, I'm too unorganized to give photo credits. My apologies.

According to the Gallery Guide, in an effort to brand his own identity, Murakami created his alter ego DOB. The name comes from a Japanese comic book. You see these funky characters scattered throughout the exhibit. They range from cute:
To trippy:I could've stared at this painting for hours. It's filled with a lot of subtle sexual innuendos. Heath pointed out a great visual pun for conception. You can't see it in this photo, but there's actually a penis hi-fiving an egg!These sculptures, however are not subtle in the least. They are pretty much as overt as it gets.Here's a Louis Vuitton bag for sale at the boutique:
The pieces are whimsical and fun, but when you look closely you notice how much time, effort and control it takes to create something so amazing. I'm no art critic, but WOW, how cool is this shit? My favorite piece hands down is this ginormous sculpture titled Reverse Double Helix. This picture I found below does not do it justice. The sculpture is this beautiful mushroom cloud filled with vibrant colors and flowers. It had these hands spilling out near the base of the cloud. The hands reminded me of The Supremes singing Stop, in the Name of Love. I loved it so much I was willing to risk my reputation by sneaking a photo of it. I had this brilliant idea to climb the top of the stairs near the entrance of the Vuitton boutique and get a birds eye view shot. I'm guessing a lot of people have that brilliant idea, too. As soon as Heath slipped me the camera we noticed a museum page giving us the stink eye from below. He even went as far as to whisper in his little walkie talkie thingy and warn the two other museum pages across the way.

I suddenly had a flashback of me at the Sistine Chapel back in '95. This time, I acted on my "Brilliant idea" and actually took a picture of God Creating Adam, one of the amazing ceiling frescos throughout the chapel. Suddenly, I heard a VERY loud voice from across the room scream, "NO PHOTOS, NO PHOTOS, NO PHOTOS!!!!!" in Italian. Every tourist turned and stared at me. All 200 of them.

Back at the Murikami exhibit, I decided it best not to take a picture. After all, my reputation was at stake.

Epilogue: This is not the actual photograph, but don't you think a photo like this is worth being yelled at by an Italian security guard?

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