An contemporary art gallery in Oslo with highlights from Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Takashi Murakami. By far the best museum in Oslo.
Down at the new Oslo Harbor front hides a gem no tourist, casual or cultural, should miss: The Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. You see, there are those bucket list museums. You have to visit the Louvre, the British Museum and Hermitage (I got a guide to the Hermitage in St. Petersburg you really should read). But to be quite earnest these museums, interesting while they may be, are not fun. It’s something for the sophisticated spectator to celebrate his ennui (now didn’t I put this prettily?)
The Astrup Fearnley Museum (Norwegian: Astrup Fearnley Museet) in Oslo is on a whole different scale. This museum is fun and that’s the reason why I love it so much. But let me show you around a bit.
(Note: I would not recommend visiting this museum with children under 10 – nor reading this blog post)
A tour through the Astrup Fearnley Museum
The entrance alone will take your breath away. Here a monumental manga statue with all too generous proportions greets you and sets the tone for the rest of your visit. Larger than live, Takashi Murakami’s take on sexuality might be a bit ironic, but is nevertheless impressive.
But the tour goes on. Jeff Koons live size china statue of Michael Jackson and his favorite chimp – all gleaming in gold – is just as spectacular.
Damien Hirst, another favorite artist of mine, is featured at the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo with his tryptic “God Alone Knows”. It might be a bit grisly, but lord is it good. Here is the night, it says in golden letters and standing in front of it, there is no escaping the strong pathos of those four words.
And speaking of pathos: Damien Hirsts adam and eve exposed are just as brilliant. What is it you are seeing here? Are those dead bodies? Or is it a couple being made ready for transgender surgery? Some pervert game? Adam and Eve have been depicted since 2.000 years but never in such a profound and condensed way. Sacrilege? Certainly not! Well maybe in terms of making fun off all the artists that came before. Instead of a shy fig leaf there is a bloody tampon!
But not everything at the Astrup Fearnley Museum is pervert or gruesome. Anselm Kiefer’s presentation “The High Priestess/Zweistromland” is a monumental rack of lead and other metals. If it was any smaller, you’d walk past and call it insignificant – but in its largeness also hides its grandness.
Nevertheless sexuality is a big focus of the Astrup Fearnley Museum. A taxidermy of rabits having a threesome? How ingenious is that!
Or take Ida Ekblads “Political Song for Jessica Simpson to Sing”. It’s just a chewing cum on her eyes but it is hitting the whole plastic pop issue in dead center!
Dan Colens tablet says “Meet me around the corner”. And I say: meet me at the Astrup Fearnley Museum any time.
What do you think about the Astrup Fearnley Museum? Would you go? What’s your favorite piece? Let me know in the comments below!