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"The Olsen Twins Hiding From the Paparazzi" Exhibition in NYC

The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum curates a darkly funny art show in an abandoned doctor's office

by David Graver
on 22 April 2016

The Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum, composed of art curators Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen, began in a hallway in their apartment. In fact, that permanent exhibition still stands but the duo has expanded their reach with a brand new, Kickstarter-funded exhibition that's equal parts clever and dark. "The Olsen Twins Hiding From the Paparazzi," taking place in an abandoned Brooklyn doctor's office, features an array of work from various artists and it's an uncommon experience to say the least.

At the core of the show, quite literally, artist Laura Collins' work stands as the impetus for the exhibition in general. Collins collected imagery of the Olsen twins hiding behind their phones and bags and coffee cups and used them as reference imagery for her paintings. As Collins explains to CH, "I wanted to do celebrities hiding in general. I think it's cool to obscure the main subject, the face. I was trying to get a bunch of celebrities but I focused on the twins. It seems like they are reclusive." Olen and Harkins were taken with the paintings and the concept unfurled around it all.

Collins' work lines the doctor's office corridor, but wonders are to be found around every corner. One room provides over-sized props for hiding behind (or taking selfies with). Another room features a variation on her work in some ways—it's the Olsen twins hiding from dinosaurs. One office has been turned into an immersive Special Victims Unit-like installation, where Olsen twins profiles and clippings line the walls, lay upon a map and fill numerous binders. It's eerie and dark, and draws our pop culture obsessions even further into the mix.

There are plenty of other treasures to be found, but the surprises shouldn't be spoiled for those who will be able to attend. It's the uncommon experience—curated by people who believe art can be fun—that makes it so special. "I walked around and called vacant lots and this was the one who answered," Olen explains to CH about the location, which features a two-way mirror and "dance club." And perhaps the best part: one room is dedicated to the wedding of Mary-Kate Olsen and Olivier Sarkozy—and it's oddly beautiful.

"The Olsen Twins Hiding From the Paparazzi" is on now through 1 May 2016 at 563 Grand St in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They have a full schedule of events and activities taking place on site.

Images by David Graver

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