A Trip To A Gambling-Owned Museum Of Modern Art


“Why take a trip to Tasmania, isn’t it like an arctic wasteland owned by Australia?”

Yes, and no; The entire island has much more character to it, than to be classified as “arctic” and “wasteland.” You, personally, just have to discover different themes and adjectives that will fit it better. I do actually believe that the word arctic fits Tasmania well, but for different reasons.

What do I associate the arctic with? Well, the word itself seems very cold to me, and a little bit mysterious; and fortunately a museum located Hobart, Tasmania fits this description very well, especially while its in a cold environment (during the winter).

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is known worldwide as an odd place to display odd art. if that’s not descriptive enough: the museum itself is located underground right off the coast of Hobart’s northern city Center, has an adult playground, a kiddie playground; multiple yachts to deliver you to the main entrance where 99 stair-steps guide you to the second main entrance of the museum; at least 3 boujee restaurants and bars, a high-end recording studio, a luxury hospitality area; rustic architecture, and finally at least 100,000 SQFT of underground exhibit space—all encompassing a millennials’ dream.

The entire complex is legitimately very beautiful considering the otherworldly description I gave it. The museum itself seems like a parody on stereotypical; sometimes pretentious, museums from around the world—I won’t name any of them because individuals will get angry with me, and I need everyone to like me at least a little bit, please. Moreover, the marketing for the museum itself describes this philosophy as such:

It’s sarcastic, and not taking itself too seriously, which you won’t normally see at a museum with thousands, and millions of dollars in paintings. I personally like this approach for this use case, but I think its only possible by allowing the creator of the Museum, David Walsh, to let his personality shine—not what museums typically do, instead they let the art shine.

David is a gambler and art critic, he started off by learning computer science in college and a bit of math, then dropped out to pursue other things. Throughout that time, he developed a system to make money gambling on horse racing, and it worked okay. He’s now one of the richest Australian’s in the world by abusing a system that’s abusive towards its clientele. And because of David’s love for art, and powerful vision to express that art, he developed a museum that fits that entire philosophy of bending the rules of how to express art, which I find fascinating.

The museum itself has many attributes to it, it took my posse and I (just three individuals) around four hours to complete, which did not include sitting down to take a breather, and eating. It’s amazing how much space you can fit inside of a large rock, and to even include the island its built on inside of the architecture itself seems like a nod to how “organic” the museum is; it doesn’t live off of a façade formed by overtly luxurious marketing and history, rather creates its own identity and meaning, almost like the museum is an art-piece itself—a somewhat functional art piece at that, with flaws and all.