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An Infinitely Different Date Night

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board

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Last Friday Natty Guy and I went on an infinitely different date night.  We had scored tickets to the Cleveland Art Museum’s much lauded Infinity Mirrors exhibit!  The exhibit runs until September 30th and limited tickets are released online each Monday at 9 AM for viewing times that week only.

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Even the exterior of the Cleveland Art Museum was done up in theme!

New experiences are one of the things that lend a great feeling of satisfaction to my life.  So often we seek all the cool things out when we’re on vacation but don’t take that same care to find things close to home.  I love when I have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on great local options for unique date or girl’s nights. 

As you walk into the entry of the exhibit, a field of silver balls sets the tone for the “infinite” experience.  Each sphere reflects a slightly different version of the museum’s light and airy atrium.

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board

Time in each of the infinity rooms (silver box shown below) varies from about 20-30 seconds.  I initially feared it wouldn’t be enough time to both absorb the exhibit AND take a few pictures but it’s longer than you’d think.

Tip: Turn off your flash prior to entering any of the rooms. I failed to do so at this first exhibit so have no interior pictures to share.  Only one of the rooms forbids all photography.

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board

The Artist

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Yoyoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese conceptual artist born in 1929 (age 89, for those of you counting).  She moved to New York in the late 1950’s and became an integral part of the pop-art movement.  Kusama initiated her infinity mirror rooms in the early 1960’s.  In the late 60’s she began organizing outlandish events for publicity (think live nude displays covered in polka dots in the middle of Central Park).  By the late 1970’s her health was failing so she returned to Japan, voluntarily checking her self into a mental hospital where she resides (by choice) to this day.

 “If it were not for art, I would have killed myself a long time ago.”

Yayoi Kusama

Inside the Exhibit

The room below was probably my favorite.  It was inspired by toro nagashi (a Japanese ceremony of floating paper lanterns down a river to help ancestral spirits find their way back home).  The exhibit encourages you to consider both the void of death and the hope of an afterlife.

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity

You don’t actually go into this next room but can peer through windows from outside.  The strategically placed mirrors make for a great selfie opportunity!

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Fantastic selfie opportunity!
This one is of Natty Guy as he got the better shot.

The diversity of Kusama’s work really impressed me.  In the first piece it’s easy to make a connection with her “infinity” work but the sculpture, to me, seems to be from a completely different artist.

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board

Below is the last of the seven infinity rooms, again with the theme of blending into infinite space.  When this work was first exhibited in 2013, Kusama covered the floor with water.

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away

At the end of the exhibit you can spend unlimited time in the Destruction Room.  It’s a fun and interactive experience with all kinds of cool details hidden amidst the many dots!

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
The leg lamp is a fun nod to Cleveland!

We spent about 2 hours at the exhibit and then, as luck would have it, the art museum is just a hop, skip from our favorite Cleveland restaurant L’Albatros.  In my opinion, their patio is one of the best in town and their cheese board is the most elaborate I’ve seen outside of France.  What better way to wrap up date night than with some nibbles and rose?

Different Date Night | Yayoi Kusama | Infinity Mirrors | Things to do in Cleveland | L'Albatros | Cheese Board
Say “cheese”!

Until next time…keep cultivating that simple, stylish and satisfying life!

18 thoughts on “An Infinitely Different Date Night”

  1. This looks like an amazing place with beautiful work of art! I have heard of Yayoi Kusama and I love her work. Seeing your photos I am sure doesn’t do the painting and sculptures justice. I was enthralled just by looking at your photos, I wonder how long would I stay at the museum if I were there! Love this date night!

    Maureen | http://www.littlemisscasual.com

  2. I don’t think I’ll make it to the exhibit but was curious about it, so thanks for sharing your pics-they’re amazing!

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Ann Taylor