Brussels – MIMA is an incredible addition to the art world
MIMA is open. MIMA is a brand new museum on the edge of Molenbeek in Brussels. MIMA stands for Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art. Last Friday doors officially opened to the public. I was there to have a first glimpse. What an incredible addition this museum is.
MIMA was actually meant to open on 24th March, but because of the tragedy in Brussels on 22nd March, they decided to postpone the opening. The museum is located in Molenbeek, an area that has been in the news quite a lot since late last year. I don’t want to go on about this. Having MIMA in this neighborhood gives Molenbeek a bright color in this dark troubled period.
The museum is based in a former brewery called Bellevue. On several floors and two rooftops it shows artworks and installations that are closely connected to the urban scene or culture 2.0. Its first temporary exhibition titled ‘City Lights’ has a focus on urban art. For this exhibition four different international artists were invited to change one floor each with their art. Swoon, Faile, MOMO and Maya Hayuk are the first artists to exhibit as part of ‘City Lights’.
Swoon, who is most known for her wheat paste artworks, has taken over the basement and one of the rooftops. The basement is still kept intact. When you breathe in deeply you can smell the antiquity of the building. On the derelict walls Swoon has pasted dozens of her iconic artworks. They are images of people, wayang puppets, flowers and other figurative images. It feels like being outside on the streets, but it is inside and underground.
Last year New York based Faile exhibited their Wishing On You installation on Times Square. After having seen photos of this installation I wish I could have been there to see it. It is therefore even more amazing having it part of the ‘City Lights’ exhibition. It is an interactive installation that lets you play with the prayer wheel and spin it round. On the ground floor Faile’s renowned stencil street artworks are pasted on the walls from ground floor towards the first floor where the installation is. Pssst… Inside the toilets there is more of their stencil art.
The room that impressed me the most is that of Maya Hayuk. If your day didn’t have a good start then this room will certainly brighten up the rest of your day. She has painted every single wall space in this room from top to bottom. Her bold geometric dripping art is accompanied by colorful windows that make this room even more pleasant to be in. When you are on the rooftop, have a look through the colored windows.
MOMO is an artist who I got to know the art of in 2012 when being in Grottaglie for Fame Festival. His abstract art with lots of lines, circles and other figures are so damn good. In his exhibition room he has combined a few different techniques and made his wall artwork almost look 3D. On a video inside the room it shows how he creates these perfect fine lines.
The two top floors are where the permanent collection is on view. It shows artworks and installations by Parra (he designed MIMA’s logo), Mobstr, Steve Powers, HuskMitHavn, Escif, Barry McGee and many more urban contemporary artists. And when you are there, also go the two rooftops for an excellent view of Brussels.
Yes, MIMA is an excellent addition to the world of museums. Normally you would see artworks by all exhibited artists in a gallery and not inside a museum. Well done to the people who have made MIMA possible. I am looking forward to what is next.