WILLIAMSBURG, Brooklyn – Say what you will about Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. What you can’t deny is that they’re pop culture icons and it’s their impalpable reputation that makes them all the more interesting.
It’s what inspired Brooklyn comedians/roommates Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins to open up a pop-up museum along Grand Street in Williamsburg in honor of the famous twins and their endless run-ins with the paparazzi.
“When Mary-Kate got married, it really solidified their status I feel,” explained Harkins. “She married Olive Sarkozy and there were articles of bowls and bowls of cigarettes at their wedding and everyone smoked all night.”
“I mean they just do whatever they want,” Olen said. “They live in another world that we will never see – and that’s ok.”
That world is what Olen and Harkins are giving visitors a glimpse into, through the works of Chicago-based artist Laura Collins.
The artist captures them hiding from photographers in several different scenarios.
Whether they are hiding behind a yoga mat or a passport, its “pretty iconic,” Olen stresses.
The make-shift museum that came together in an abandoned doctor’s office, also includes a number of art contributions from donors – one which re-creates the now-infamous cigarette-spread at Mary-Kate’s recent wedding.
“The coolest thing about it – everyone had to turn in their phones when they arrived as there are no photos, nothing in magazines,” Harkins said. “So now that whole story is just something people will tell generation to generation to each other.”
The tongue-in-cheek exhibit, which will be open for a limited two-week run starting Friday – isn’t the first to be curated by the comedy duo.
They were the brains behind the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum that got them a lot of attention and exposure.
“I think the moment for me was when Keith Olberman called us the worst people ever in sports.” Olen said. “It just made me feel we are doing something right and lets keep it going.”
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