The Paweł Althamer, “The Neighbors” exhibit at the New Museum was one I’d meant to visit but didn’t get around to in time. Luckily, this is an example of bad timing turning into good timing.
Now that the original exhibit has ended, they’re cutting up the wall and letting visitors take home pieces. As someone who loves museums but not necessarily the hands-off aspect of them, I just think this is so extremely cool.
Not only do I now own a piece of art that was hanging in a museum, but it’s one that was contributed to by so many people in the city. I can see the multiple layers of paper plastered over one another, and the many vibrant colors painted on top of each other, and though I have no idea who exactly painted the part I have, or what the larger picture looked like, I can imagine what a diverse set of human beings worked together–mostly unknowingly–to create this one-of-a-kind masterpiece.
Some people probably spent a lot of time and energy on their sections, and others likely splattered on something quickly and then got out of there. Some people probably came from across the globe to participate, and others maybe came from down the street. And I have the result of their efforts in my apartment.
Without the artists having a clue, we are connected. You could even say I now own a part of the city.