April 27, 2016 / GO Brooklyn / Williamsburg / Art / The Greatest Story Ever

Twin peeks: Mary-Kate and Ashley get their own gallery in Williamsburg

Brooklyn Paper
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All other museums can give up now.

A pop-up Williamsburg museum dedicated to images of the Olsen twins hiding from paparazzi is obviously the best idea of all time. But the pop culture show about the “Full House” stars is not a comment on celebrity culture, says one of its organizers — she just hopes visitors will walk away with some “likable” snaps.

“I think there’s no big thing we’re trying to say about paps or anything,” said Viviana Olen. “We hope that you can come here with your friends, have fun, and take some really good selfies.”

Olen and her roommate Matt Harkins are co-founders of the “Thnk 1994 Museum,” open until May 1. Last year, the pair opened a gallery in their apartment hallway dedicated to scandal-plagued figure skater Tonya Harding and her rival Nancy Kerrigan, which was decried as “the worst hipster idea ever” by the New York Post.

While looking for a follow-up to that massively popular exhibit, they two discovered a series of paintings of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen hiding from shutterbugs by Chicago artist Laura Collins. Those images, which they discovered on Instagram, now line the hallway of the museum.

Collins says she wanted to paint celebrities hiding from cameras in order to take the focus away from their faces, and the oft-photographed Olsens — who use their hair and sunglasses to hide from the cameras — had more pictures of that kind than any other celeb. She knew she would show off her paintings one day, she said, but never imagined they would hang in the quirky Michelle Tanner shrine.

“I think I’ve always planned on doing shows in New York,” she said. “But I don’t think I ever could’ve dreamed up the scenario of this museum.”

The museum also features rooms filled with Olsen twins memorabilia, including dolls and magazine clippings, along with multiple tributes to reality television stars: a glitter representation of model Kendall Jenner; a “Confessional stump” dedicated to Lisa Vanderpump, where patrons can record their own tell-all story; and a “selfie station” inspired by “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” star Kylie Jenner, complete with oversized sculptures attendees guests can pose with.

And it features a bit of occasional performance art, with a red phone in the hallway that will ring occasionally. Anyone who answers will be offered a role on 1990s comeback show “Fuller House” by someone claiming to be a Netflix representative.

The museum closes on May 1, but will offer many cultural contributions to the borough during its brief run, including a “Real Housewives Symposium” on April 29, and a dramatic reading of Harkins and Olen’s original screenplay about Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando and Liz Taylor escaping the city in a rental car after 9-11, on April 30.

Olsen Twins Hiding from the Paparazzi at Thnk 1994 Museum [563 Grand St. at Lorimer Street in Williamsburg,] April 22–May 1. Noon–7 pm. Suggested donation.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

K. from ArKady says:
Ironically, the only thing remotely interesting about this work is the very thing being disavowed: images of these two celebrities hiding themselves is kind of thought provoking. But apparently that was purely coincidental? That fits with the rest of the show which is just a shallow and shameless attempting to ride the coattails of some shallow and shameless people. Boy, these Creatives sure are ...uncreative.
April 27, 2016, 2:44 pm
K. from ArKady says:
OK, I see that Lauren is not being quoted here, but one of the organizers. The paintings are good and thought provoking, apologies for lumping you in with the garbage.
April 27, 2016, 3:51 pm
Matt from Greenpoint says:
Shelter field-trip?
April 30, 2016, 1:03 am

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