Peeple Go Wild for Yayoi Kusama’s Art at Annual Peeps Diorama Contest
Pumpkins, polka dots, and infinity rooms take top honors at annual candy competition.
Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama was clearly on to something when she named one of her infinity mirror rooms Peep Show.
While it’s no secret that art lovers go wild for her polka dot and mirror-filled rooms, now fans of Easter candy Peeps—those ubiquitous, saccharine, garishly colored marshmallow rabbits and chicks—have fused the two, taking inspiration from the current Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden retrospective to create their own Kusama-themed infinity room dioramas. The difference? These rooms are populated by Peeps.
Editors at Washington City Paper, which administered this year’s contest, said the Kusama “Infinity Mirrors” exhibit inspired so many dioramas that the Hirshhorn could have held its own Peeps contest. Though the number one honor went to a courtroom recreation cheekily titled “The Peeple vs. OJ Simpson,” a Kusama-inspired diorama “Peep Show: All The Eternal Love I Have For The Peeps” easily took second place.
Of the nine winners selected, two other Kusama-inspired creations took slots number seven and eight (“Infinty Peeps: All the Eternal Love I Have for Peepkins” and “Through the Peep Hole: Infinity Peeps”), making Kusama the inspiration for a full third of the sugar-encrusted competition winners.
Not surprisingly, art was a common contest theme with: “Peep Haring as Photographed by Annie Peepovitz” taking third place, and “Bob Ross: Happy Little Peeps” taking fourth place.
The top-rated Kusama work selected by the editors was the incredibly detailed “Peep Show” submitted by Jeremy Mark, Kate Blizinsky, and Ariel O’Connor. The diorama is rigged with actual mirrors and lights and took about 20 hours over the course of several weeks to construct.
We were slightly surprised that one installation didn’t score even higher due to its own fascinating detail: For their entry, former semi-finalists Ashley Casper and Chad Bartlett included a mini City Paper referencing an incident where an over-eager selfie taker got too close to a Kusama pumpkin and smashed it, which forced a temporary shutdown of the exhibition.
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