Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Murakami Exhibit: Worth the 6 Hours of Driving

This past weekend, Chad and I took a short road trip (three hours each way) to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth for an exhibition of Takashi Murakami's artwork titled "The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg". 

Mr. DOB in a more tame sculpture installation.

Aren't they cute? Those are shrunken heads atop their poles.

Caution: may cause seizures and/or too much joy.

This happy mural greets visitors.

A ginormous Mr. DOB parade balloon suspended from the ceiling 30 feet up.

Chad and I loved this exhibition so much! Japanese historical themes of warriors, dragons and monks meet modern manga cartoons meet bright pop-culture iconography. Though some of Murakami's work echoes Sanrio cuteness via a fever dream, much of it is delightfully subversive and best suited to adults. Do you really want to explain the satire of overt sexualization of cartoon characters to your eight-year-old child? I don't. Nor do I want to awaken in the middle of the night to calm them after the nightmare caused by sharp-toothed Hello Kitty type monsters with way too many eyes staring blankly.

The enormous scale of many of the artworks mesmerizes. Just when you think you're done looking at one of the giant, detailed artworks, you see some other image within an image to ogle. Other installations overload your vision with literal wallpaper topped with canvases as a background to a busy sculpture, all with the same design motif. 

The architecture of the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth impresses with grand scale, shallow pebble-bottom reflecting pools surrounding the building, an outdoor sculpture garden and an intriguing permanent collection starring the likes of Andy Warhol, Donald Judd and KAWS. I'll definitely make the drive again if a future exhibition catches my attention.

If you live within driving distance of Fort Worth, Texas you can also see the Murakami exhibition through September 16, 2018. *Click here for more info.* This exhibition was originally organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago. Maybe it will travel to other museums. Catch it if you can!