Jill Zarin Pointing Up. Painting by Laura Collins.
The Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum in Brooklyn has a new exhibit open, titled The Real Housewives Pointing Fingers, a collection of work from Chicago-based contemporary artist Laura Collins. Featuring the women from various editions of the reality TV series The Real Housewives, each painting depicts a housewife dramatically pointing, at someone off-screen, or off-canvas, as the case may be.
The THNK1994 Museum originally started in the apartment hallway of two comedians and best friends, Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen, as an exhibit on rival figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. After watching the ESPN Tonya Harding documentary, The Price of Gold, the two decided to turn their 25 foot long hallway into the Tonya Harding Museum – and the idea quickly took off.
“We connected with so many artists who wanted to make this kind of art, and today we’ve done five exhibits, we’ve featured several artists, and it’s just so fun,” said Viviana. “That’s where we met Laura [Collins]. We’ve down two solo shows with her now.”
NeNe Leakes Pointing at Sheree. Painting by Laura Collins.
Lisa Vanderpump Pointing at Tom Schwartz. Painting by Laura Collins.
Kyle and Kim Richards Pointing at Brandi. Painting by Laura Collins.
Matt and Viviana met Laura Collins when she submitted a drawing of Tonya Harding’s mug shot for their permanent collection, and now they’ve collaborated several times, the museum displaying Collins’ work in their ‘Nicole Richie’s 2007 Memorial Day Barbecue’ exhibition, as well as solo exhibits, such as ‘The Olsen Twins Hiding From the Paparazzi’.
For Collins, who credits her success in art to the unwavering support of her parents, one a firefighter, the other a teacher, the series on the pointing housewives is more than just a representation of modern pop culture, it’s also a reflection on human behavior.
Top: Vicki Gunvalson Pointing at Tamra. Bottom: Taylor Armstrong Pointing at Dee Dee. Paintings by Laura Collins.
“Pointing for me, it’s an overtly aggressive gesture. But I feel like beyond aggression, it’s defensive, which is the same thing as the Olsen twins hiding, it’s a defensive action. So I feel like when you’re pointing at someone, you’re trying to deflect. You’re literally redirecting; you’re trying to take what’s been put on you, and put it on someone else,” Collins explained about her choice on having the housewives point.
Collins’ favorite painting? The painting of Kim Richards pointing at her sister.
Kim Richards Pointing at Her Sister. Painting by Laura Collins.
Many paintings actually sold at the opening, one in particular titled “Bethenny Frankel Pointing at Sonja,” with 100% of the proceeds going to Frankel’s B Strong Disaster Relief.
Bethenny Frankel Pointing at Sonja. 100% of the proceeds went to the B Strong Disaster Relief. Painting by Laura Collins. Image courtesy of Laura Collins.
As for what’s coming next for both Collins and THNK1994, there’s another collaboration in the works, aimed at opening in September 2018.
“I actually already have my next show planned. It’s a secret, but I’m so excited — I think it will be just as strong, if not stronger,” Collins said.
For THNK1994, they’re not only looking forward to the next exhibit with Collins, but also the new dark humor movie on Tonya Harding coming out, called I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie, Caitlin Carver, and Sebastian Stan. “We think it’s going to be an Oscar contender,” Matt and Viviana agreed.
In addition to that?
“We’re actually thinking of doing a pop-up in LA. We think it would be really great to do something there.” Matt said.
The Real Housewives Pointing Fingers exhibit is on display from October 7th, to November 12th. More information on the THNK1994 Museum, as well as tickets, are available on their website. More information on artist Laura Collins is available on her website.
Next, check out 17 Art Installations and Exhibits in NYC Not to Miss in October and see our previous coverage on THNK1994.