Mattress Factory

This story was first posted on The Office Goth‘s blog. 

I can’t seem to get away from photos of Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Dots Mirrored Room at The Broad in LA. Each and every time I see one I have the same reaction of Wow! followed by thoughts of, How can I find cheap enough flights to LA? I must see this thing!

For those of us who can’t make it over to the West Coast for that exhibit, here’s a little consolation for you: the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh.

Mattress Factory actually has two works by Kusama: another Infinity Dots Mirrored Room— this version uses colorful dot reflections instead of lights — and Repetitive Vision, a slightly trippy white room with red polka dots, mannequins and of course the mirrors that make it an ‘infinity room.’ For a lack of a better way to describe them: these installations are EVERYTHING.

And the rest of the Mattress Factory wasn’t too bad either. Some other highlights:

IRIS_SIRI by Kevin Clancy: You walk straight into a fluorescent room to find windows covered in a rainbow film and life-sized resin cats draped across laptops. This exhibit reminds me to quit being so distracted by the Internet to go out and enjoy life for a bit.

Catso, Red by James Turrell: When you’re surrounded by super minimalistic art that uses three-dimensional light, there are tons of photos opps waiting to happen.

The Mattress Factory is one of the things I love about Pittsburgh (along with Randyland), and I’d say it’s one of the biggest surprises I found in a city that I’ve always only associated with universities and manufacturing. If you’re on the East Coast like me and are looking to go on a quick, affordable trip, Pittsburgh is definitely one way to go!

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This Dan Flavin exhibit at Hirshhorn is giving me serious “Hotline Bling” video vibes and I’m really feelin’ it. It also feels like all I’ve been doing lately is visiting art galleries, but then again, is there actually anything wrong with that? After making a fool of myself copying Drake’s moves in the middle of a blue room with Cesar and some pals, I found myself gravitating to everything else that was blue in the museum.

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WONDER

Ask anyone in DC about the Wonder exhibit at Renwick Gallery and they’ll likely have something to say. Either they’ve been already, or they’ve seen enough photos on Instagram that it’s basically like they have gone.

For those of us that have visited, we’re all kinda still in awe. First off, how is it that with simple strands of sewing thread, Gabriel Dawe can create this? This giant optical illusion, this freakin’ indoor RAINBOW! You know that as a color lover, I was all about this. Second, where did Jennifer Angus get the idea, let alone the balls, to work with 5,000 exotic Southeast Asian bugs? The result is an entire hot pink room decorated in a geometric pattern that reminds me of Mexican sugar skulls. And then there was Janet Echelman‘s work. The first time I went to Renwick, my best friend Rita encouraged me to lay down on the floor to take it in all the changing colors and light. I probably could’ve fallen asleep right there if there wasn’t a bunch of elementary school kids running around my head…

If you end up passing through the city, I definitely recommend this one!