Tag Archive | Ham

Yayoi Kusama, Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees, Helsinki, Finland

Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees
All Photos By Gail

We only had four hours off the ship to explore Helsinki, Finland, but despite the cold and rainy weather, luck was on our side; as the Universe guided us directly to the foot of Esplanadi Park, the site of Yayoi Kusama’s latest installation of Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees. Holy crap! We had no idea it would be there, but the impossible-to-miss red and white polka dot fabric-wrapped trees screamed “This is a Kusama Thing!” at us from across the road, and we journeyed over to investigate. There are no accidents.

Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees
Wrapped Trees with Statue of Eino Leino, Finnish Poet, Bohemian and Journalist

A little bit of Googling gave us additional background on the installation, explaining how, “Part of Esplanadi Park has been utterly transformed. Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees establishes a wonderland in the park, where 20 trees in Theatre Esplanadi are wrapped in Kusama’s signature dotted fabric.” To run concurrently, Kusama’s Narcissus Garden, a well-known work consisting of a thousand mirror-surfaced steel spheres, has also been installed in the Palm Room at Helsinki’s Winter Garden. Kusama offers, “These works have been inspired by beautiful nature and people, and they create communication between nature and living beings. The shining city of Helsinki, as well as the life we wish for, becomes even more beautiful.”

While we found it on Thursday, June 9th, the work was officially unveiled on Helsinki Day, June 12th. It will be on display for all to enjoy until October 9th, 2016. Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees has previously been on show in London, Singapore, Moscow and elsewhere.

Ascension of Polka Dots on the Trees

Claes Oldenburg: Mouse Museum/Ray Gun Wing at MOMA

Washington DC Souvenir Ashtray
A Souvenir Ash Tray from Washington DC is Part of Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum (All Photos By Gail)

Claes Oldenburg, the legendary pop sculptor, has long been a collector of objects and  images. His studio shelves contain an immense variety of items that, since 1972, he has gathered during his daily travels, alongside experiments and prototypes for his sculptures. Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing — currently on exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art — evolved from the artist’s commitment to this practice of collection, storage and display.

Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing
Ray Gun Wing (Top) and Mouse Museum

Located in the MOMA’s center atrium area, the Mouse Museum is the structure in the above photo that is shaped like a Geometric Mouse (a recurring motif in Oldenburg’s drawings, prints and sculptures). The Ray Gun Wing, which was created in 1977, is shaped like a gun. I had a peek inside each of these tiny museums when I was at MOMA the other day, which was a treat.

The Ray Gun Wing, as you might’ve guessed, is filled with cases displaying various types of toy guns and pistols and various every day objects  — from soda can tabs to stones — shaped like guns and pistols. When I first walked into this wing, and saw all the different “prototypes” of toy guns, BB guns, ray guns, Nerf guns from the different eras – I instantly thought that my kid needs that nerf review, and snapped a few pictures for him on my phone. The  Mouse Museum is filled with little fantasy trinkets, toys, candles and small prototype models for some of Oldenburg’s sculptures. I didn’t take any pictures inside of the Ray Gun Wing, because  you weren’t really supposed to take any photos,  but I took quite a few inside the Mouse Museum, because, why not? I had just been to the Punk exhibit over at the Met and I was feeling a little rebellious.  Here are a few snaps of  some of the cool stuff I saw inside a tiny room shaped like a mouse head.

Baked Potato Salt & Pepper Shakers
Baked Potato Salt & Pepper Shakers

Leg Pen
Leg Pen

Spoon and Wax Lips
Silver Spoon and Wax Lips

Skull Glasses

Skull Glasses

Ham and Fire Hydrant

Plastic Ham, Fire Hydrant

Shower Sink Toilet Octopus

Miniature Bathroom Fixtures and Octopus

3D Cherry Pie Slice Ad

3D Cherry Pie

Cake Models and Small Purse

Prototypes for Stuffed Cake Slices, Small Purse

Miniature Play Food

Miniature Play Food

Small Chair and Carrot Dish

Small Chair with Woven Seat, Carrot-shaped Dish

Miniature Ice Cream Bars

Miniature Plastic Ice Cream Bars

The Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing by Claes Oldenburg will be on Display Through August 5th, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street in NYC.

Happy Thanksgiving 2007!

Guilty Bastard

Yes, I realize that OJ is actually holding a carved ham, but it is the spirit of bad taste and political incorrectness I’m trying to capture!