Discover Benelux, Issue 31, July 2016

Page 35

Discover Benelux | Amsterdam Highlights | Leidseplein & Museum Area

Moco brings Banksy’s street art to Amsterdam TEXT: KOEN GUIKING | PHOTOS: HUGO THOMASSEN

As it happens, this is the first time in history there is an official Banksy exhibition in a museum. Until Moco dedicated the entire ground floor to Banksy, this activist artist from England – who has never revealed his real identity – had always sneaked his own art into museums to get it exhibited.

decided it was time to open a museum. In April 2016 they started exhibiting works by Banksy and Andy Warhol in Villa Alsberg, an impressive building in between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. “This monumental building in the middle of Amsterdam’s museum quarter had been empty for a while. Kim and Lionel saw it as a perfect opportunity to bring their ideas to fruition and turn the historic villa, designed by the cousin of the architect of the Rijksmuseum, into a museum for modern contemporary art,” says Roger Brunings, responsible for Moco’s PR.

Over the past years, gallery owners Lionel and Kim Logchies have been receiving many visitors in their LionelGallery on Amsterdam’s Nieuwe Spiegelstraat who were particularly interested in viewing work from the British street art legend Banksy. So many, in fact, that the couple

Banksy’s Laugh Now exhibition started off with around 50 original pieces by the mysterious street artist, but “almost every week a new art work has been coming in, lent to the museum by art collectors,” says Brunings. Famous Banksy works on display in the Moco Museum are Laugh

In April, a brand new museum opened its doors on Amsterdam’s famous Museum Square. It is called the Modern Contemporary (Moco) Museum Amsterdam and it exhibits art from the likes of Banksy, Andy Warhol and Salvador Dalí.

Now, Girl with Balloon, Pulp Fiction, Kate Moss, Mona Lisa and Beanfield. Also, one artwork that can be viewed free of charge is the piece of street art Heart Boy, painted on a brick wall that was recovered from a demolished London building. In June 2016 this 2,000-kilogramme artwork was installed in the garden in front of the museum. “Lionel and Kim believe that art should be accessible to everyone,” explains Brunings. “They are particularly keen to get young people excited about art.” The Andy Warhol exhibition ends in early July. It will be replaced by an exposition of sculptures and Salvador Dalí prints. The museum is determined to regularly change its exhibitions, “because there are lots of hugely inspirational artists Moco wants to display”. Issue 31 | July 2016 | 35