The privately-owned Moco Museum – short for modern contemporary – is an odd duck in the busy pond of Amsterdam’s Museum Square that it’s easy to overlook it. Surrounded by the big players and tourist staples, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk, and of course the Rijksmuseum, it’s an afterthought in the countless times we’ve walked by it and dismiss it too often as not worth a stop.
All that changed when Anthony heard Yayoi Kusama of polka dots and pumpkins fame was having an exhibit that incidentally began just last Friday, and it wasn’t soon after that tickets were bought online and a visit done yesterday – after all these years.
I’m not much of a fan of contemporary art, I would say of the top three in Museum Square that the Stedelijk was my least favorite, but occasional visits to the impressive bathtub-shaped building weren’t too painful. In contrast Moco Museum is located in an old mansion that very much looks it and so many times feels like it can’t handle too many popular shows like its veritably permanent Banksy exhibit and now Kusama’s. The crowd is totally millennial, which is both good and bad – good because art in any form can be transformative to anyone who cares but bad if it’s the type of millennial that cares a lot about make-up and looking good on Instagram next to a Japanese pumpkin. Despite being unable to grasp the aesthetic concepts of Arsham, Kaws, and company, I enjoyed the hour spent at Moco even if only for the comfort of sitting on a lounge chair in the garden. Blinded by the Spring sun and surrounded by relative calm, it was a nice respite from the dirty and sordid world of museum-hopping.