Monday, September 12, 2011

Adventuresome Art: The Mattress Factory

When Marlana last visited Pittsburgh earlier in 2011, we went on a walk through the Mexican War Streets in the North Side. We passed by the Mattress Factory on that walk and momentarily explored the grounds outside, but did not have the time to go in and explore the installation art inside. For her return visit, I knew I wanted to take her back to the North Side and wander around the Mattress Factory for a bit.

We arrived just before 1 p.m., which is when the museum opens on Sundays, so we had some time to walk around the garden and take some photos.

Once inside, we went right to my favorite pieces, and probably the two that the Mattress Factory is most well known for: Yayoi Kusama's "Infinity Dots Mirrored Room" and "Repetitive Vision."

I would attempt to summarize our visit in words, but I would never do the Mattress Factory justice in writing. Instead, here are some photos I took, which may give you an idea of the interesting and unexpected nature of the installation art within.

This piece was kind of crazy and a little bit terrifying. I thought it would give me nightmares, but I have managed to sleep through the nights (mostly).

What I can't figure out about the Mattress Factory and the Mexican War Streets is basically the conundrum about the chicken and the egg. Did the Mattress Factory inspire the neighborhood to bubble over with color and art or did the neighborhood cultivate its character before the Mattress Factory came to be? Whatever the answer, this is one of my favorite parts of Pittsburgh to take people and one of my favorite parts of the city to explore on my own.

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