Manhattan’s New or Conventional Artwork Museum (NOTaMUSEUM) is an entire faux—and that is intentional

The signal on the door at 393 Broadway says “closed for set up,” however artist Robin Eley hopes you’ll break the foundations and enter anyway. 

Should you do, you’ll discover a fictional museum referred to as the New or Conventional Artwork Museum (NOTaMUSEUM) the place it seems that a present that includes a number of the biggest artworks of all time is about to open. However the artworks are literally Eley’s recreations of items which can be normally not out there to the general public as a result of they’re privately held, misplaced, or stolen. Eley created the items in beautiful element, portray an illusionary layer of bubble wrap or tape atop every one with such practical brushwork that the veiled art work seems to be three-dimensional. 

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A painting sits on a ladder and a sculpture stands in front of a wooden art crate.
{Photograph}: By Rossilynne Skena Culgan | It seems to be like a museum, nevertheless it’s not.

Referred to as “Personal Assortment / Closed for Set up,” the present is free to go to from September 17 by way of September 25. The works have by no means been proven collectively earlier than, and so they’ll by no means be proven collectively once more as every bit is already offered and can quickly head to their consumers.

The present options 17 oil work and one bronze sculpture depicting art work akin to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s “Dustheads,” Pablo Picasso’s “Le Rêve,” Andy Warhol’s “Turquoise Marilyn,” Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” Vincent van Gogh’s “Three Sunflowers,” Rembrandt’s “Christ within the Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” Frida Kahlo’s”Self Portrait with a Monkey,” and Alberto Giacometti’s “L’Homme au doigt” sculpture. Eley created every hyperrealistic piece over the course of 4 years, amazingly echoing post-impressionism, pop artwork, cubism, and extra. 

The art work pairs effectively with the remarkably correct set design by famend inventive director David Korins (he did the set design for Hamilton and designed the mega-popular Immersive van Gogh expertise). It might be NOTaMUSEUM, however Korins remodeled a clean house to make it really feel such as you’re in a museum with diagonal hardwood flooring, wealthy colours on the partitions, and ornate moldings. Korins designed the present to look as if it’s within the strategy of being put in with transferring pads, instruments, and wood crates adorning the room. He additionally added “Easter eggs” of types all through the gallery, like a bullet close to the Warhol portray as a nod to the story of the shot work.

“From a dramatic storytelling viewpoint, it’s extremely wealthy,” Korins stated. 

As co-producers, Korins and Eley introduced the work as veiled items in crates to discover what it means to maintain art work out of public attain and to immediate discussions about artwork’s public worth. 

“The concept of the exhibition is about entry. It’s about privilege,” Eley stated, including that it’s additionally about commodification, particularly within the digital period. Take, for instance, van Gogh’s sunflowers. Van Gogh painted the sunflowers as easy decorations for his studio. Work like this current a paradox, Eley defined: Everyone knows these works as a result of they’re extraordinarily well-known and straightforward to entry on-line, however the works are additionally wildly costly and really accessible by only a few. The sunflowers work would promote for billions, he stated, a “full change from what the artist supposed.” 

A depiction of Pablo Picasso's Le Rêve veiled in plastic wrap and tape.
{Photograph}: By Rossilynne Skena Culgan | An outline of Pablo Picasso’s Le Rêve.

Artworks have additionally change into forex for the extraordinarily wealthy, and that usually means the general public doesn’t get an opportunity to view the unique items. The extremely controversial portray “Salvator Mundi” by Leonardo da Vinci is owned by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, who apparently refused to indicate it on the Louvre due to questions on its authenticity. Eley presents his personal spin on the portray at NOTaMUSEUM. 

Given the excessive worth of some items, they’re ripe for theft, and Eley needed to pay homage to works which have been pilfered, like Rembrandt’s portray “Storm on the Sea of Galilee,” nicked in one of the vital infamous artwork heists. 

“The concept of this museum is it’s been in a position to conjure these items out of skinny air,” he stated. 

Go to NOTaMUSEUM at Lume Studios (393 Broadway in Manhattan) from September 17 by way of September 25 (10am-6pm). The present is free and reservations/tickets are usually not required. 

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