I'm a huge fan of traditional museums and historic places, but recently there has been a huge wave of interactive/experiential art exhibits. Below is a wrap up of the 2017 exhibits that I was able to check out. Places where you get to be a part of the art, shamelessly snap away and where posting on social media is highly encouraged. So if this is for you... grab your picture taking friend and purchase tickets well in advance, because these exhibits sell out super quickly!
P.S. Stay tuned for part 2 of this blog, because later this year I'll be attending the Happy Museum, Candytopia and "The Max" from Saved by the Bell.
Museum of Illusion, Hollywood
My feyoncé (intentionally spelled)... "Wait? this isn't a museum about magicians?" No this museum is about using painting illusions as background for super fun pictures.
I remember seeing pictures from my friends from the Trick Eye Museum in Seoul and thinking what a great idea for a museum and that we should have one here... now there is! Now until March 5th, you can enjoy 20+ murals in two floors of Hollywood. The place isn't huge and should only take you about an hour to complete.
The best part is that they're open until midnight, so you can go when there isn't crowds and plenty of free street parking. You can ask the employees working there to help you find the best angles and take pictures for you. Tickets
Ice Cream Museum, Los Angeles
This exhibit is now in San Francisco, see the latest city here. The Museum of Ice Cream, starts with entering a large bright pink building, once inside you experience 10 candy-colored galleries with installations of ice cream-themed art and a little bit of science, and samples of sweet, sweet frozen goodness along the way.
From the gallery of suspended bananas to rooms of giant melted popsicles, big-as-you gummi bears and a swimming pool full of sprinkles (30 second time limit), the whole place seems custom designed to be Instagrammed, while all around you, feel good pop hits stream through the air: "Happy Together" indeed.
29 Room, Los Angeles
Housed in a gigantic tent in a parking lot in downtown Los Angeles, the conglomeration of 29 installations is a conflicted mishmash of art, marketing and corporate sponsorship — with a whiff of socially conscious activism — all massaged into branded content by Refinery29.
The collaborations between the corporate sponsors and Refinery29 are thinly disguised advertisements for shoes, beauty products and more.
The installations fall into four categories:
1. Collaborations between artists (who work perfectly well on their own) and Refinery29 (a company all about publicity, otherwise known as speech).
2. Collaborations between corporate sponsors (Adidas, SheaMoisture, Dyson and Victoria's Secret, among others) and Refinery29.
3. Collaborations among artists, corporate sponsors (Google and Perrier) and Refinery29.
4. Collaborations between nonprofits (Planned Parenthood, the Art of Elysium and Women's March) and Refinery29.
The coolest part for me was the the Google Pixel was offering completely free photographers, so we can see the quality of their new phone. I have to say the picture taking capabilities on the phone, made me want to chuck my iphone. All photos from this section are from the pixel.
Infinity Rooms - The Broad, Los Angeles
This exhibit is now over in Los Angeles, but set to reopen in Cleveland. I went to see Yayoi Kusama at the Broad once before, when it had just the infinity room, this new experience brought six of her 20 mirrored rooms, sculptures, paintings, and her famed obliteration room.
Her mirrored environments house blinking white and colored lights, inflated pink spheres with black polka dots and orange fiberglass pumpkins lined with more polka dots. Sometimes the mirrors are black, heightening dramatic contrast. The show positions them as her breakthrough, but they feel more like the beginning of the end. Each mirrored room has a personalized experience that only allows 30 seconds each.
“The Obliteration Room” is one with no mirrors. It’s an all-white interior – an open-concept living and dining room in which visitors are invited to put random, multicolored stickers on every surface. As attendance swells and dot-stickers proliferate, a blank domestic space is essentially transformed into a walk-in bag of Wonder Bread.
Now closed, but you can read more here. An unsuspecting pop-up art space in the industrial area of Lincoln Heights, east of downtown Los Angeles. It's housed in an enormous building the size of a Costco warehouse and it sits across the street from an old, abandoned city jail.
Each room is a distinct experience. At the center of the factory, there's a green lawn with a crater and swings hanging from the ceiling. Another video space projects multiple angles of Birch's red Ferrari getting into a car crash, with parts of the wreckage on display. One room contains a ceremonially arranged series of crowns and meteoroids. And finally, an outdoor courtyard holds 40 salvaged airplane tails that have been planted in a pool, like an aircraft boneyard. Most impressive was the bedroom from the final scene of Stanley Kubrick's classic film 2001: A Space Odyssey.