Brooklyn Street Art

…loves you more every day.

Opiemme X Moby Dick X Museum of Urban Art (Italy)

Posted on June 3, 2014

There has been some excited talk in the last couple of weeks here about the announcement of a new urban art museum in New Jersey associated with Mana Contemporary – some even saying that it is the first of its kind. No doubt it will be a first in many categories but when we heard the name MANA associated with an urban museum we also thought of MURo (Museo di Urban Art di Roma) and then of MAU.

The Museum of Urban Art in Turin Italy is called Museo d’Arte Urbana and it has a director and a board, has programmed and placed countless works in public spaces since the mid 1990s, and is reportedly securing a large permanent location in that city as well.  In fact, many have had this lust for combining the street with museums, and everyone does it differently.


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Opiemme)

“It’s a really particular reality,” says Opiemme this week of the MAU program that just brought him to Torino, as the city is natively referred to. “There’s a block called Campidoglio where MAU took over beginning in 1995,” the Street Artist says about what is essentially a mural arts program that has brought public artists and artworks to the street in a curated fashion. Successfully, you might add, from the citizens point of view.

“Actually I never painted in a place where people were so happy to have me there,” he says of the new 50 square meter text based whale based on Melville’s Moby Dick. Installed over a weekend in May where Corso Tassoni meets Via Cibrario, the text comes from the book, is entitled “Ahab’s Whale”, and according to Opieme, it questions who is the bigger monster – the whale or the captain’s obsession.


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Daniele Dantonio)

As the street scene shape-shifts once again and we have moved into a period at the moment where there is a booming mural scene washing over us – one that many would not have predicted – it is worthwhile to speculate what form and format an “urban art” museum would/could/should take and which masters are to be served?

But before pulling our whaling boats up alongside this enterprise and harpooning it with a list of programming demands — hold your fire! Perhaps we’ll need to acknowledge that we’re going to need a number of these museums worldwide, and each can find their particular focus without presuming to be everything to every one.  That would be quite impossible.


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Daniele Dantonio)

As usual, we are still content with the museum of the streets, the gallery of the self-selecting, curated by will, happenstance, the elements, and the audience who determines how long it is on exhibit.


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Opiemme)


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Daniele Dantonio)


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Daniele Dantonio)


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Daniele Dantonio)


Opiemme. Torino, Italy 2014. (photo © Daniele Dantonio)

For more information on the Museo d’Arte Urbana please click HERE.



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