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It’s been a while since I been to a museum that had such a stacked lineup of exhibits as the Brooklyn Museum has right now. Even for the non-art aficionado, the Brooklyn Museum has some really cool things on display that should provide some amusement and ‘Gram worthy pictures (please don’t take selfies, I f’n despise selfies and I honestly judge those who do).

When you first enter the premises, you’re greeted by KAWS’ immense 18-foot wooden sculptures. KAWS is one of this modern generation’s most popular artists and designers, expanding his graffiti roots to ultimately working with major brands, designing an MTV VMA award, and even having a balloon in the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Two of his trademark figures stand tall in the Brooklyn Museum’s lobby, with one looking like he’s consoling his distraught friend.

KAWS Brooklyn Museum

After purchasing your tickets, you can check out the Brooklyn Museum’s three other featured exhibits. In “The Rise of Sneaker Culture”, you can observe the evolution of sneakers from being something you wear to protect your feet to a centerpiece of culture. The Brooklyn Museum sourced 150 pairs of sneakers, some dating all the way back to the early 1900s. Practically every iconic model from Adidas, Converse, Nike, Puma, and Reebok is on display, and if you’re sneakerhead, you can spend the entire day in the exhibit. I was pleased to see that “The Rise of Sneaker Culture” had a very diverse collection. Nike and Jordan are, hands down, the most influential brands in sneaker culture, but it’s good to remind people that other types have contributed to the popularization of sneakers in art, music, and fashion.

Rise of Sneaker Culture Brooklyn Museum

 

The Brooklyn Museum’s other standout exhibit, “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds”, really surprised me. FAILE is a Brooklyn-based collaboration between artists Patrick McNeil and Patrick Miller and they aim to raise questions about our relationship to consumer culture, religious traditions, and the urban environment by blurring the boundaries between fine art, street art, and pop culture. “FAILE: Savage/Sacred Young Minds” had multimedia installations, large-scale paintings, and even a functioning arcade. The standout of the exhibit was this dark room illuminated by glowing neon posters, which covered every inch of wall and floor space. This was probably my favorite part of the day and I highly recommend seeing this.

Lastly, was “Basquiat: The Unknown Notebooks”, which presented over 160 pages of rarely seen documents, related works on paper, and large-scale paintings done by the legendary New York City artist. Thanks to Jay-Z’s extensive namedropping, Basquiat is almost a household name now, and it was really cool to see his frenetic thought process in these notebooks. It may look like random blurbs on a page, but I’m sure that in Basquiat’s creative mess of a mind, they mean something. One of the most fascinating takeaways from the exhibit is seeing how Basquiat writes his E’s.

Overall, there some really cool stuff going on at the Brooklyn Museum, so make an afternoon out of it. There’s air conditioning there too.

 

 

 

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Rex Pham

Originally from the Bay Area, who then moved to Los Angeles, then out to New York City. NYU Stern MBA c/o 2014. Inspired by the grind of NYC to create something that has value. Lover of all things digital, culture, and brand strategy.