Recently I was a bit surprised – and very pleased – when my 10-year-old daughter, Nora, announced that she had to see ©MURAKAMI. This exhibit is at our 'local' museum, The Brooklyn Museum, where our kids have had countless field trips and we have been members since we moved to the borough. But we didn't make the members' preview, or any of the "First Night" celebrations during the © MURAKAMI run (which ends July 13).
We should have gone sooner.
When a child decides she has to see an exhibit, she gets greater enjoyment than if her parents decide to take (drag) her. Murakami has been called a Japanese Warhol; the show features elements of anime (animation) and manga (comics). Nora examined the colorful cartoonish paintings more thoroughly than I ever remember her looking at art. She was wowed by rooms that had been transformed by Murakami's work, which covered the floors or every inch of the walls. There was a room filled with flowers that stopped her cold.
She honed in on some of Murakami's iconic images: Mr. DOB, a sort-of Mickey Mouse, and Mr. Pointy. It didn't strike her as odd that a Louis Vuitton boutique was in the middle of the exhibit, but she was giggling at the prices in the gift shop at the end: $98 for a plush flower, $42 for a child's T-shirt. The gift shop did have more appropriately priced books on anime and manga, and some Japanese board books.
There are a couple of almost pornographic images in the exhibit that Nora barely noticed. One is a statue of a girl with enormous breasts jumping rope made from her breast milk, and there is a boy with a gigantic penis. These were recreated in miniature; apparently, they were included in boxes of candy in Japan.
Where: 200 Eastern Parkway
When: Wednesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday and Sunday 11am-6pm
How much: $10, children under 12 FREE
For more info: (718) 638-500; www.brooklynart.org
Note: On weekends, strollers are prohibited in © MURAKAMI.