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New NYC Art Show Celebrates the “Back Room” of Old Video Stores

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by Jonas Barnes

I was lucky enough to sit down with the creators of a new immersive art exhibit coming to NYC this month that celebrates something a lot of us grew up with as kids, teens and young adults. Is this a Nickelodeon exhibit? No. Is this is a New Kids on The Block exhibit or an ass themed Sir Mix-A-Lot exhibit? It is neither of those things.

Matt Harkins and Viviana Olen are the masterminds behind “The Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum” and they have paired up with the adult film mega-studio, Brazzers, to bring The Brazzers Backroom VHS Exhibit to NYC this month. You read that correctly: The Brazzers Backroom VHS Exhibit. Strap in, dear readers, because we’re going in hard.

I asked Viviana and Matt why they decided to do this exhibit, and the answer was pretty great. If you don’t know them, do your research because they’re awesome people. Some years back, they decided that they wanted to make a museum in the hallway of their apartment dedicated to one of pop cultures most celebrated train wrecks: Tonya Harding.

They made a literal hallway museum filled with items based around the scandal of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan and called it “The Tonya Harding Nancy Kerrigan 1994 Museum” and the rest is history. Personally, I’d have to be high as fuck to come up with an idea like that but when I asked Viviana and Matt how it came about, they said sleep deprivation was the drug of choice. A 4AM lack of melatonin was responsible for one of the coolest pop culture creations to come around in years.

This set off a series of events, exhibits and pop-ups focusing around various pop culture ideas and it has now led to this exhibit coming to NYC. They decided to do this (and all of these types of events) to showcase artists in a light that is unexpected yet very accessible to most. The adult film industry has a stigma attached to it in the eyes of the general public, and they’ve made it a mission to show that it’s actually fun and not something to be shy about.

After all, we all watch porn. I’ve watched it 3 times today and it’s not even noon yet. We all fuck. I’ve fucked zero times and it’s not even noon yet. Wait a goddamn minute…

The way this whole exhibit came about is actually pretty cool. Someone from Brazzers came and saw the above mentioned hallway museum and decided that they wanted to work with Viviana and Matt. The rest is…not history because the exhibit hasn’t happened yet. But it will be happening, and if the imagery theme and tone is any indication, this is going to be really fucking fun. They’re celebrating the internal mystique we all had about “the back room” before we finally snuck in. They’re creating a world of fantasy that we all thought about.

I remember when I was a teen and knew about “the room”, I remember fantasizing about…well, fucking, honestly…but also about the room being some magical place filled with characters that were naked and ready for whatever I thought sex was when I was getting fresh boners. They’re celebrating that fantasy and showing that porn is fun.

The reality of the room was very different so they’re going the best route. I remember when I finally walked in and saw lots of pubes, weird looking dicks and titles like “Ass Fucking Cum Eaters Vol. 4” without the other volumes present, so I’d be lost if I rented that one. The fantasy was fun. The reality smelled like masturbation in a sauna.

Viviana and Matt know that his is a forgotten part of our past and they’re celebrating that and bringing art to an audience that may not have looked into anything that was considered “art” before. A lot of people think art galleries are simply filled with boring art nerds shuffling around a gallery with their hands behind their backs, whispering about how the splatter pattern reminds them of their past.

Well guess what? You’re getting an art gallery that also has splatter patterns that remind you of your past except it’s just a bit more XXX rated. The artist being showcased is Miriam Carothers, who has created original movie posters for fictional films that recreate the cult vibe of the porn film backrooms we all wanted to sneak into. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you I want to see “Doctor. All Our Assholes Are Possessed!” starring Abella Danger. Abella Danger will actually be at the pop-up event so you should totally go if you’ve ever…enjoyed…her work.

What this really boils down to is a passion for the art being created equaling an extremely unique “art gallery” experience that is the first of its kind. Viviana and Matt are no porn slouches, my friends. I asked them about their favorite old and  new school porn stars and they were quick to name Tommy Defendi (Matt), Jenna Jameson (Viviana), The Cock Destroyers and Luna Star (Matt) and finally Abella Danger (Viviana). My point is: They know porn. They know that we all watch porn. They know that we all LOVE porn. They are fans of The Cock Destroyers. You can’t be a fan of The Cock Destroyers without knowing your porn. You know how I know that? Because many of you are going to have to google “The Cock Destroyers” now, that’s how I know.

Happy googling, you filthy animals.

This exhibit will take place on September 28th and 29th.

I’ll be there taking pictures for some wrap up coverage so I’ll probably see you there! The admission is FREE AS FUCK but I recommend you RSVP at http://vhs.brazzers.com just in case.

Along with Abella Danger, you’ll get the chance to meet Jordi, Luna Star, Nicolette Shea and Phoenix Marie. Come check it out at 310 Canal Street.

Follow THNK1994 On Social Media
Twitter: @thnk1994
IG: @thnk1994
http://www.thnk1994.com
Miriam Carothers on IG: @miriamcarothers

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