Selfie-Taker Smashes Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin, Just Days Into Hirshhorn Show

Mellon collie and the infinite sadness descends upon the museum after the high-priced sculpture was damaged.

All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins, 2016. Photo: Courtesy KUSAMA Enterprise, Ota Fine Arts, Tokyo / Singapore and Victoria Miro, London © Yayoi Kusama.

Two things are closely associated with superstar artist Yayoi Kusama: pumpkins and selfies.

Selfies are also closely associated with accidents, since budding photographers at galleries and museums are often distracted by their screens. Just think of the man who destroyed a century-old sculpture in Lisbon and the Italian student who broke an early 19th-century sculpture while sitting in its lap for a photo op.

Well, now Kusama, pumpkins, and selfie accidents have all come together at “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors,” which opened February 23 at Washington, DC’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Yayoi Kusama in 2013. Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images.

Yayoi Kusama in 2013. Photo by Andrew Toth/Getty Images.

The accident took place in her infinity room, All the Eternal Love I Have for the Pumpkins (2016), when a visitor lost his footing while inside the mind-bending mirrored room, which is filled with bright yellow polka-dotted gourds. (A four-foot-high sculpture of one of her polka-dotted gourds went for $784,485 at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in October 2015, according to the artnet Price Database.)

A work in the installation “sustained minor damage and the room was closed temporarily,” Allison Peck, the interim director of communications and marketing at the museum, confirmed to artnet News via email.

However, would-be visitors shouldn’t fret too much. “It was evaluated by the Hirshhorn’s experts and it will reopen soon,” Peck assured artnet News.

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” will be on view at the Smithsonian Institution’s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden through May 14, 2017. It will then appear at the Seattle Art Museum, June–September 2017; the Broad Museum, October 2017–January 2018; the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, March 3–May 27, 2018; and the Cleveland Museum of Art, July–October 2018.

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