The future of art is Instagrammable. An exhibition by Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at the Broad caters to this trend with some of the most eminently photographable backdrops in the city..
Her Infinity Mirrored Room has been a popular attraction since the Broad opened in 2015. Visitors walk into an enclosed room with lights dangling from the ceiling and mirrors lining the walls. The set-up endlessly reflects your image so it looks like you're in a glittery space oasis.
Five more of Kusama's infinity rooms will debut Saturday, Oct. 21 at a new exhibition where visitors can wander through a pink polka-dotted paradise, a psychedelic field of pumpkins and other eye-popping landscapes.
By featuring art that is easy to photograph and can be shared online, the Broad says visitors will walk away with a deeper understanding of the work and, hopefully, develop a strong curiosity about Kusama.
"It’s been incredibly affirming and exciting for me as a museum director to see so many people who consider themselves maybe not-so-knowledgeable in contemporary art, and then walk away saying, 'I had no idea I would love this art so much,'" says Joanne Heyler, the Broad's founding director.
That ethos has driven traffic to the museum, especially among young people. The average age of a Broad visitor is 33, one of the youngest in the nation.
Tickets for the special exhibition are sold out, even after record demand prompted the museum to release more passes.
If you lucked out and scored one, here's how to take the best pictures. Because if you go to a visually stunning art show and don't bother taking any selfies, did the exhibition actually happen?
Figure out what to wear
Kusama's work is highly patterned and repetitious. The rooms also vary in brightness.
Aim for clothes that are either white/cream so they'll capture light, or have warm tones that compliment Kusama's palette.
If you prefer highly patterned clothes, go for it. They'll pop against her work and act as a backdrop.
Decide on a game plan before you enter a room
You only have 30 seconds in each room before you're ushered back out, so try to take a peek when the person before you enters.
This is crucial and will help you compose your shot.
Show your best self
You can't bring a selfie stick into any of the rooms (in case you strike the artwork) and there isn't enough room for someone to step back and take a photo of you. So your only option is a selfie.
Your best bet? A DSLR that handles low light like a champ.
If you're using your phone, use the outward-facing lens since it can capture a wider angle and will handle low light better.
Set the phone at waist or chest height so it doesn't block your face, and look directly into your phone's lens by using the mirrors.
Take a flurry of photos all at once
The lighting in some of the rooms varies and fluctuates.
Set your focus and composition, then wait to take your shot until the lights brighten. Take multiple photos during your brief moment under bright light.
Consider not taking pics at all
Because you only have 30 seconds in each room to take a picture, you might want to focus on enjoying Kusama's work itself instead of capturing an image.
Stop and take it all in. The best picture might be the one that you create in your head.