yellow tree made out of dots

The meatpacking district has taken on a new hue, as yellow polka-dots are beginning to flood west 14th street. The Whitney Museum’s new home, which is currently under construction, does not display scaffolding and steel beams; rather the entirety of the 10-story the building is wrapped in a black and yellow polka-dot covering. The installation is meant to be a celebration of Yayoi Kusama’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum. The building wrap features a rendering of Kusama’s Yellow Trees, transforming the building into a gigantic canvas until the end of September.

Kusama is a Japanese artist and writer, whose work has included a wide variety of mediums. She is known for her unique and avant-garde perspective in the art community, and considered to be a precursor of the pop art, minimalist, and feminist art movements. She says of her affinity for polka-dots, “…a polka-dot has the form of the sun, which is a symbol of the energy of the whole world and our living life, and also the form of the moon, which is calm. Round, soft, colorful, senseless and unknowing. Polka-dots become movement… Polka dots are a way to infinity.”

We took a trip down to 14th street to take some photos of the installation, and see the massive canvas in person. Environmental installations are always awe-inspiring, and New York City seems to be the perfect setting for such forms of artistic expression. Christo and Jeanne Claude famously sprinkled orange “gates” throughout Central Park in February 2005, whose art is meant to create “works of joy and beauty that provides new ways of seeing familiar landscapes.”

Artists such as Kusama and Christo and Jeanne Claude are able to transform the city landscape into something that is pleasing to the eye in a different way than architectural design, because it is done in a way that seems unreal. In a city that seems to be have an endless display of buildings, it’s interesting for both tourists and native New Yorkers alike to see their city in a new light.