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Exclusive: Mika Yoshitake shares insight on dark inspiration that birthed the idea for ‘Infinity Mirrors’ exhibition

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The High

Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Mirrors,” Installation has garnered global recognition since it’s debut and now resides at The High Museum in Atlanta until February 2019. The popular exhibition includes six themed rooms, sculptures, paintings, works on paper and additional creations that span across Kusama’s life from the early 1950s to present day.

NDLYSS had the pleasure of attending and intimate discussion with curator, Mika Yoshitake, on Thursday as she dissected the evolution and trajectory of Yayoi Kusama’s immersive pieces from her early surrealist paintings to mesmerizing sculptures to kaleidoscope mirror-filled installations over the course of six decades.

The High

Born in 1929 to a well-established family who owned a plant nursery business, Kusama’s childhood was one filled with flower fields and hallucinations obliterated by dots eventually pieced together in her artistic style. Yoshitake notes that the usage of dots birthed the enactment of a self-styled notion to radically connect individuals; a process that correlates with the understanding of the body operating at the edge of awareness.

“The dot replicated endlessly may have been a way to fill this haunting fear, a signifier that allowed her to confront the void once uncontrollable fate and whirlpool of death and obliterated through a compulsive process of repetition,” she said. This can be seen at The Obliteration Room at the High, an interactive room that allows tastemakers to place a colored dot in blank white space, providing an immersive experience as the viewer can feel the annihilation in a physical form.

The High

Her illusions and torments have since evolved including her fear of intimacy which is a recurrent theme in her works: phallic shaped objects sprouting from various objects covered in spots. Kusama’s pieces almost always contain prolific motifs such as dots, pumpkins, phallic objects and lights. The repetitive motion of these motifs produce a cathartic experience.

Alexandra Munroe, Kusama’s curator of her exhibition at the Guggenheim, noted: “Kusama’s work elicited a psychedelic vision of the self caught in a labyrinth of infinity simulating a space between consciousness and the unconscious.” This can be seen at the “Infinity Mirror” room at The High, a room features over 200 bright bulbs suspended from the ceiling to create a whimsical adventure.

The High

The artist has produced 20 distinct mirror rooms since 1965. With each new room, Kusama has tightened the suspension of time and space increasingly emphasizing the participatory experience of the public and the notion of the mirror rooms as bodily structures. Her intricate use of shifting from macrocosm to microcosm in her works can be followed through her early paintings to her sculptures to her dematerialized mirror installations. Her paradoxical pursuit of self obliteration is immersed through each of her exhibitions to evoke a sense of freedom from self but also a connectedness through mutual obligation.

Yoshitake explains: “The darkened mirror environments have produced various interpretation. Some critics describe them as producing a disturbing effect in which the viewer’s body virtually disintegrates into receding reflections that surround him or her. Others see the rooms as a utopian challenge that addresses multiple modes of being beyond private individualist experience that remains fundamental to communal living. Both of these positions agree that Kusama’s works derive from unsettling experiences that have evolved to more ethereal harmonial environments.” Nonetheless, Kusama’s pieces accomplishes brilliant art in both a microscopic and cosmological scale.

Kusama, almost 90, resides in Japan where she continues to create installations. Yoshitake notes with great respect and pride: “After 90 years of searching for stardom and fame, this woman is finally getting her just due.”

For more info on Yayoi Kusama’s exhibit, click here.

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Arts And Culture

Jackie Sorkin’s Candytopia offers sweet hangout spot

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The world of Willy Wonka meets pop culture and nostalgia in the Candytopia exhibit which has taken Atlanta by storm since opening Feb. 8. Upon entering, visitors are transported into a custom-made candy paradise. Southern hospitality will marinate topia-goers with enthusiastic zeal as they explore this sweet wonderland.

The massive displays within the entrance of the first room encompass the space and present the viewer with a one-of-a-kind treat. With swings, over-the-top interactives, and unique aesthetics, the photo opportunities are “NDLYSS” (excuse the pun).

The savvy team of engineers put the experience as a top priority. From the oversized lollipops, neon lighting, and rooms adorned with chandeliers, Sorkin’s touch of glam is breathtaking and simply unforgettable.

Coming of the hills of the infamous Infinity Mirrors exhibit, Sorkin has perfect timing for introducing ATLiens to Candytopia. In a city thriving off of culture and on its way to being adoptive of cool and quirky experiences like this one, Candytopia will bring attendees back to their adolescent roots. So, come with an open mind, willingness to be silly, and you’ll never want to leave the world of candy.

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Atlanta’s new Candytopia exhibition is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth

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Joel Pitra

Move over, Willy Wonka! Candytopia is prepared to give your chocolate factory a run for its money.

Don’t panic –– this candy-coated paradise accepts golden tickets, too. Beginning Feb. 15, a one-of-a-kind, sugar-filled experience will descend into Atlanta at EDENS Lenox Marketplace. After two successful runs in San Francisco and New York, Candytopia is set to provide ATLiens with the sweetest Southern hospitality.

Joel Pitra

According to a release sent to NDLYSS, Candytopia contains over a dozen rooms with larger-than-life interactive art installations and full sensory experiences. The delectable exhibit will also feature the most popular attractions from its past locations along with new elements inspired by local culture and landmarks unique to this location.

Candytopia gives a peek inside the sweet and twisted world of famed celebrity candy artist, Jackie Sorkin, and it was created in partnership with her co-founders, events and production design expert Zac Hartog, CEO of ZH Productions, and retail veteran John Goodman.

Joel Pitra

The buzzworthy installation has even garnered attention from A-list celebs like Drew Barrymore, Gwynth Paltrow, Jessica Biel, Bruce Willis, Adam Sandler, Kevin Durant, Josh Duhamel, Christina Aguilera, James Corden, Wiz Khalifa, Hilary Duff, and Alessandra Ambrosio.

Tickets will officially go on sale to the general public on Jan. 15. Don’t procrastinate as Candytopia is expected to sell out quickly.

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Say What? KFC creates gravy scented candle

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If you’re craving for your home to smell like warm gravy KFC has you covered! The fast-food chain is bringing it’s savory aroma to your front door, and the best part is… it doesn’t require you to cook. Now that sounds like the ultimate recipe, right?

The Fried chicken aficionados known for their finger-licking sauce has launched a limited edition gravy scented candles, that both smells and looks like gravy.

There are 230 of the limited edition candles up for grabs, available on a first come, first served basis.

These limited edition candles are being only offered in the UK at this time and will hopefully melt away to the US. If you’re a candle hoarder, this may be the perfect addition to your collection.

This is not the first time that KFC has released a scented candle. In 2016, it released a fried chicken-scented candle in New Zealand, but only 25 were made.

Then, back in 2017, KFC Japan released a fried chicken-scented bath bomb for people to bathe in the scent of its 11 herbs and spices.

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