The Moco Museum in Amsterdam is really the new kid on the block. Literally. They opened their doors in April 2016 with in their back the molochs Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum (contemporary art), and on their front lawn the Rijksmuseum (Rembrandt and other artists from the Dutch Golden Age mainly). And to make an impression next to those names, of course, Moco had to come up with some grand names for their exhibitions.
Located in a lovely old style little mansion with three floors, its own fragrance (which is offered for sale too!), and many room-size spaces to show art, the Moco Museum is an all exhibition kind of place, since it doesn’t have a collection of its own. But let that not keep you from going there: they have established themselves with enough clout to be able to show the greatest names in the business!
Meet two of the most single minded men in modern art at the Moco Museum in Amsterdam:
Banksy and Salvador Dali
At the moment there are two exhibitions showing of such great names. In the basement there is an exhibition on Salvador Dali, named Genius. Duh, what else could an exhibition on Dali be called? And one on the other two floors is on the British graffiti artist Banksy. This exhibition is called Laugh Now.
Before you think: “Dali and Banksy ? What an odd juxtaposition!”
One shuns publicity, the other relishes it and can’t get enough of it. That is true, but I beg you: think again. Both of them are the greatest at what they do, in their corner of the art world so to speak, and don’t forget: both are rebels. Nobody tells them what to do! So there is some reason to show both alongside each other.
The written information about the two artists provides a good background on them, their work, the time, and environment they made their work in. And there is an additional audio tour about the work of Banksy.
And then about Dali and Banksy ‘s artworks themselves.
Of the works by Banksy, I particularly liked the pieces that were taken from the outside: the 3D piece of wall with one of his stencils and the spray painted swat van, that is actually parked outside of the building in a black velvet enclosed courtyard, with a soundscape to match the purpose of the van and the paintings on it! They really speak to your imagination and make you think on how he must have made those works in the stealth of the night. Of all his iconic motifs, there is at least one example in the exhibition: the girl with the red balloon (‘There is Always Hope’), the monkeys, and the rat. And if you ‘Exit Through the Gift Shop’, you may want to pick up the little Banksy coloring and drawing book that they have available to anyone who wants to explore their own inner street artist!
And then Salvador Dalí. What to say about the genius he was? Tucked away in the basement, the exhibition shows mostly drawings and sculptures. That may have to do with the money involved with the insurance of his paintings, but it could also be that the rooms to display his works are simply too small to exhibit his big sized paintings. The man just didn’t work small, when it came to paintings, totally befitting his air of grandeur of course. Of Dalí’s works on display, the sculptures spoke most to me: the melted clock, the Mae West lips couch, and the lady with the drawers all over her body, which are all very representative of his work. Very recognizable, very Dalí.
If you’re in for an all English environment, personnel speak only English, can live without a bite to eat or a gulp to drink for a couple of hours, there is no restaurant – minor downside for me, and part with a couple of Euros, the place is not cheap due to the competition next door, you will have a great time at Moco Museum at the Museum Square in Amsterdam!