Have Twins, Will Travel

Takashi Murakami at the MFA

Boston, Mass – We don’t get to the Museum of Fine Arts as much as we used to. But as soon as I learned we could see the whimsical flowers created by Takashi Murakami at the MFA, I knew I had to take the twins to see them.

Kids do not have trouble appreciating contemporary art, as adults do. They do not judge the artist on their skill or style or lack thereof. They do not lament that they don’t understand the subject. Rather, they respond to the artwork at a visceral level. How does it make them feel? Do the shapes and colors and textures appeal to them aesthetically or emotionally? They are not concerned if they don’t “understand” it; they like it or they don’t like it. As for Takashi Murakami, they like it. How could they not?

The exhibit opens with Transcendent Attacking a Whirlwind, created especially for the MFA. We were all pretty much blown away by this epic scene. We spent a good long time examining it, taking in the awesome big picture and noticing the details. The twins each picked their favorite part of the painting to copy and lost themselves in this task. By the time they were done, I think they felt they had accomplished something and they were ready to go home.

But there was still a ton more to see. For starters, the flowers!

And many pieces of Japanese art from the MFA’s permanent collection, showing the connections between traditional and contemporary Japanese art. I have never paid much attention to the Japanese collection at the MFA, so I really appreciated the chance to see some selections in this poignant context.

And finally, the culmination was Murakami’s awesome Dragon in Red Clouds – Mutation. So there you have it: Takashi Murakami, from flowers to dragons and pretty much everything in between. I can’t imagine any kid who wouldn’t find something to love.