Thursday, April 4, 2013

Cultural Carpetbaggers

Luis Da Cruz is an artist and architect from Portugal. He was recently featured in a NY Daily New article for his quasi celebrity status. Da Cruz takes trashed items and recycles them into usable art. Many of his creations are sold to movie stars and the social elite. Da Cruz purchased a brownstone at 532 W.148th Street and created an extreme make over gem. Now, he wants to turn it into a Musee Maison which he believes will bring art to an area which he deems as lacking in artistic endeavor.

Da Cruz states on his website that there are no public venues in the area. He need look no further than the Schomburg just a few blocks away. Also the Studio Museum in Harlem, located on 125th.He speaks of attracting the "right" crowd. The reference would appear to mean the exclusion of minority artist since their representation is poorly reflected on his Facebook page and all other images of his "art scene." He refers to bringing a renaissance to the art scene in Harlem. A particularly insulting nuance. It implies that Harlem was devoid of culture until Mr. Da Cruz arrived.

Harlem has and always will have an art scene with or without Mr. Da Cruz.
Gentrification is great but it brings the weight of colonial arrogance along with beautification.

According to Wikipedia, the amount of arts funding that is invested in the community of Harlem is $50,000 annually compared to the in the tens of millions put elsewhere in NYC. In response to that fact, Luis da Cruz is opening his house and transforming it into “Musee Maison”.
He is not asking for funding. Mr. Da Cruz is just opening his house to serious artists and curators and celebrating the neighborhood in which he lives. “There are no public venues for art in this area. I am making my home one.”
As an artist, architect and interior designer, his home is already a work of art. The house’s unique style captures the character of the neighborhood and is an ideal setting for everything from contemporary installation and video to painting and sculpture.
He plans on inviting curators to organize shows in the Musee Maison and help create a renaissance in the neighborhood. He adds, “You don’t need to be a Peggy Guggenheim, Isabella Stewart Gardner or Henri Frick to be a patron and benefactor of the arts. You just need be passionate about art.”

The first show will feature five artists and is scheduled to open on September 21.
To find someone to be a patron of the Museum. Not financially but publicly. A serious name that will give Musee Maison an inital stamp of approval and attract the right crowd and the press. The person should be involved in the arts and could even curate a show or many shows if they desire. 


To bring a renaissance of art back to the neighborhood. It starts with one simple art event at a time and builds from there.


Building on the tradition of wealthy art collectors transforming their homes into museum, Musee Maison gives it a contemporary twist.  

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