The latest buzz to come out of Tasmania is the opening of a new museum in Hobart called MONA. The brain child of Australian multi-millionaire, David Walsh, who calls it his “subversive adult Disneyland”, MONA’s $75 million, three-level building showcases Walsh’s own eclectic collection.
Wander through MONA’s dimly lit surrounds and be confronted with some eye-opening and controversial artwork. Works include a rarely seen 45-metre piece by Australia artist Sidney Nolan, works by British artists Damien Hirst, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Mat Collishaw, Jenny Saville and Mark Quinn. From the Americas: Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gregory Barsamian, Stephen J. Shanabrook and Jenny Holzer.
Not one to shy away from controversy, Walsh (who made his millions through an international betting syndicate) wants his collection to evoke a strong reaction and create intelligent debate. Death, sex and taboo are prominent themes.
The MONA’s opening exhibition runs from 22 January 2011 to 19 July 2011 and is free to the public. No one is quite sure what will happen after this date as Walsh himself has declared that “if a work becomes too popular, we’ll remove it”.