Moco Museum – Featuring inventive works by Dalí & Banksy

Words by Jarod Lawley
Photography by Jo Blackened

Honthorststraat 20, 1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
https://www.mocomuseum.com/

Moco is one of Amsterdam’s most charming art museums, located in a century-old villa that is as bursting with character as many of the displays.

We stumbled across Moco while walking through the vast Museumplein, which is also home to the Van Gogh museum and the grand Rijksmuseum. What caught our eye about Moco, besides the beautifully designed building? Outside there were Seaside style photo boards, where you could put your head in and become the face of Banksy’s famous ‘keep it real’ chimp!

The museum is separated into two exhibitions, Banksy on the ground and upper floor, Dali on the lower floor/basement.
Entrance is €12.50, which I found to be expensive for a relatively small gallery, but part of the profits is donated to charity.

The ‘Laugh Now’ exhibition contains an impressive amount of original works by the street-art legend. Whether you love Banksy and can’t get enough, or you are unfamiliar and need a strong introduction to his work, this is the place to be!

Spaced out over numerous small rooms and two floors are the mythical Bristolian’s most famous works from Banksy, including Flower Thrower, Kate Moss and Girl with Balloon.

Although Banksy is well known for his outdoor graffiti, he is also an indoor artist, and this exhibition shows off his best works on canvas, wood and paper. It’s so rare to see so much original work by Banksy in one place. Moco really provides the space to reflect on Banksy’s message and appreciate the modern aesthetics of his work at the same time.

Although Banksy is well known for his outdoor graffiti, he is also an indoor artist, and this exhibition shows off his best works on canvas, wood and paper. It’s so rare to see so much original work by Banksy in one place. Moco really provides the space to reflect on Banksy’s message and appreciate the modern aesthetics of his work at the same time.

The main focus of the exhibition is the giant ‘Beanfield’ painting, which has not been on public display since 2009. The piece, like many others on display captures his activist spirit.

It’s never easy to understand the mind of someone who prizes anonymity so much as Banksy, but a collection of quotes between the pieces help to understand the artist’s motivations, inspirations and worldview.

In all, the Banksy exhibition is fantastically set out with such a wide and privileged selection of the artists work. It makes for essential viewing to all art lovers who live in or will be passing through Amsterdam!

On the lower ground floor is the opportunity to explore Salvador Dali.

Dali was a Spanish artist from a well to do family who encouraged his eccentric talents. His work is often surrealistic and un-classical, taking inspiration from human sensation, pictography and Sigmund Freud.

In contrast to ‘Laugh Now’, the ‘Genius’ exhibition is less impressive as it showcases fewer well-knownworks and is a less comprehensive look at the artist’s achievements.

Much of what is on display consists of small watercolours and sketches, which are unimpressive to newcomers of Dali’s work, but surely more interesting to fans. Nevertheless, there are some more obvious highlights on display too such as a melting clock sculpture, and the Mae West’s lips sofa.

A few smaller sculptures offer a few extra minutes of interest, but beyond that, it’s time to head outside and head elsewhere…

Until outside, waiting, is Banksy’s SWAT van, which you can walk around, look inside (but not sit inside obviously) and appreciate in all its monstrous form! What a great finish to what is an excellent education in Banksy’s greatest works.

In conclusion, I would greatly recommend Moco to those with both a casual interest in contemporary artists and more serious Salvador Dali fans.
Due its size and scope, the ‘Laugh Now’ exhibition is by the far the more interesting of the two, but I’m sure that once you’re inside, you’ll be able to find value in both!

 

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