Yayoi Kusama’s latest installation debuted earlier this month at David Zwirner Gallery, the former home of her immensely popular “Mirror Room.” The US debut of the renowned Japanese artist’s participatory piece, “Obliteration Room,” comprises a model suburban home bleached of all color. The couches, plants, dishes, shoes, walls – everything inside the home is white. Visitors to the gallery are given a sheet of brightly colored polka dot stickers and free reign in the Obliteration Room. If you can reach it, you can put a sticker on it.
Images from the opening day show a steady accumulation of dots inside the installation: deliberate little dot clusters as well as haphazard smatterings begin to form on the blank canvas of the home. By now though, after weeks and weeks of visitors, the Obliteration Room has become a study in crowd-sourced sticker pointillism. You can follow the evolution of the piece on Instagram by searching #obliterationroom.
With the critical acclaim Kusama has received for this piece and “Mirror Room,” one has to wonder about the current state of pop art – is it only art if you can take a #selfie with it? If Andy Warhol – whom the 86-year-old Kusama claims to have influenced – were still alive, would his work be Instagrammable?