Banking on the childhood nostalgia of the millennial generation has become somewhat of a national pastime within the past few years — or at least a plausibly successful marketing ploy.
Even though the release of Netflix's binge-able retrofest Fuller House, the follow-up to the '90s-era sitcom Full House, might make or break that tack, it has already, if indirectly, produced a delightful byproduct — even if its creators don't necessarily agree. Enter: an entire museum dedicated to the Olsen twins at the height of their Paparazzi-fueled celebrity craze.
The museum is the brainchild of THNK1994 Museum, comprised of the Brooklyn-based duo Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen. If their names or the name of their organization rings a bell, it might be due to the worldwide attention for their previous work: the Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum, an exhibit roommates Harkins and Olen installed in their apartment hallway. Described as a "a repository for fan art and memorabilia" by Brokelyn, the installation is a de facto shrine to the famous ice skating rivals, with one side dedicated to Kerrigan and the other to Harding.
Whether the timing was intended or not, the team unleashed the Kickstarter for "The Olsen Twins Hiding From the Paparazzi" around the same time as the Fuller House drop, and coincidence or not, the move was a good one — its $9,500 fundraising goal for a rent storefront, a print magazine and more calls for major PR guns. To help visualize the museum, THNK1994 Museum even created a tiny model of what it envisions the exhibition to look like.
As for what drew the pair to arguably the world's most famous set of twins? Like their refusal to appear in Fuller House — which led to one of the more awkward fourth wall-breaking gaps in recent memory — Olen and Harkins invoked their allure and aloofness in their Kickstarter description. Or, as they called it, their admiration for "badass business women who facilitate their lives to be as inaccessible as possible":
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) February 26, 2016
"Thrust in front of the camera before they could make a choice, the Olsen Twins have been a national brand since they were babies. We envied them, revered them, we gazed upon them. As adults they are now badass business women who facilitate their lives to be as inaccessible as possible. In a world of 'I trip at the Oscars, I'm JUST like YOU.', they hide in towers we can only assume don't exist on any maps."
The majority of the pieces that will be included in the museum are the work of Laura Collins, a Chicago-based artist whose recent work includes acrylic portraits of high-fashion models falling down on the runway, to give you a taste of her dark, wry but bittersweet sense of intelligence, all mixed in with a sense of the tragic. For the artist, her inspiration for drawing the Olsen-centric series has less to do with their status as pop culture icons and more about their technical appeal as subjects.
"What captivates me most about the Olsen twins is that there are two of them," Collins said in an email to Tech Times. "As an artist, on a very basic level, any time something is doubled or repeated like a pattern it is very stimulating visually. The twins come up in my work a lot for this simple reason."
Of course, MK and Ashley's celebrity status has its own draw.
"Being the same age as the twins, I have always compared our lives and felt vastly incompetent," she continued. "I am not nostalgic for their younger days. Right now I am fascinated by their lives as elusive New York designers and wives of French political royalty. As always, they are light-years ahead of me and their status seems so unattainable."
Even though Harkins and Olen told Brokelyn in an interview that Fuller House and their museum "aren't connected," Olen did have some words about the first season of the series sequel.
"I watched Fuller House and I don't know if I was just starting my period or something but I cried every episode, I was very touched by it," she said. "I think it's a great show."
Check out THNK1994 Museum's Kickstarter video and the official trailer for Fuller House in the video clips below.