It feels like it has been rainy and grey on the West Coast for weeks, so to walk by the Vancouver Art Gallery right now is to receive a badly needed hit of colour and light. The smiley-face flowers beckoning from the windows of the building and the giant octopus-inspired murals on the grand façade facing busy Georgia Street are an invitation to step out of the rain, in every way.
And once inside, wow. Entering the Takashi Murakami exhibition The Octopus Eats Its Own Leg is like bathing in brilliance; the bold and complicated beauty of the superstar Japanese artist's work is exactly the thing to jolt you out of your midwinter funk; an antidote to the blahs – or, if things are going well in your world, a complement to the la-la-las. Yet for all its perky dazzle, the show has its dark moments, equally exciting on the eyeballs.