When it came time for the big opening, the museum chose a double exhibition of some 80 pieces by pop art icon Andy Warhol and the enigmatic street artist Banksy.
This private museum is set in a building dating from 1904 on 20 Street Honthorststraat, in the city’s museum district. It shares the block with the Van Gogh Museum and just one block from the outstanding National Museum or Rijksmuseum.
Known as “Villa Alsberg” the old property was designed by Eduard Cuypers (cousin of the renowned Pierre Cuypers, architect of the Rijksmuseum), and its covered area of 1,200 square meters (12,916 square feet) was envisioned as a museum by architect Piet Boon. Every three months, MOCO convenes guest curators to propose new exhibitions and work together with the architects in planning new displays.
This museum is a venture of Lionel and Kim Logchies, owners of the Lionel Art Gallery, which has worked with some of the most important artists of the 20th century, including Jeff Koons, Picasso, Basquiat, Warhol, and Banksy, among many others.
Among the works by Banksy on display at the inaugural opening, you could find Beanfield a large piece that shows a group of riot policemen gathering flowers in a meadow, and the iconic Four Monkeys, consisting of a series of chimpanzees on a fuchsia background. The pieces were created using the author’s characteristic stencil technique, in which each ape has a banner on his chest with the inscription Laugh now, but someday we will be in charge.
The political controversy that surrounds this British street-artist has led him to the center of the international contemporary art scene.
The other exhibition featured the work of Andy Warhol, including one of its emblematic multicolored portraits of Marilyn Monroe, his iconic pictures depicting canned soups, and his unmistakable Dollar Sign.
For its architectural appeal and interesting proposals, MOCO Museum is one more reason to visit and enjoy the beautiful city of Amsterdam. ■