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How The Olsen Twins Are Connected To The Art World
Art boys, collecting and even an exhibition
Art Girls Jungle 25 Jul 2019

We all know by now that the world’s favourite twins are pretty big hitters in the world of fashion – (heard of their mega-line The Row anyone) – but did you know they are also involved in art? Yep, that’s right, from dating artists to collecting work themselves, Mary-Kate and Ashley have some pretty high art credentials.
Ready to become even more jealous of the twins than you already were? Here are the reasons why why the it-girls/actresses/fashion moguls could be deemed art-girls too!
The Internship
In 2005, long before founding The Row, and as students at New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualised Study, the twins were required to become interns. Of course, they aimed high, and Mary-Kate was an intern for superstar photographer Annie Leibovitz, who has photographed the twins many times, and in 2017 for US Vogue in a piece about The Row.
The Exhibitions

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MKA So apparently this is happening. Brooklyn based comedians Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins have created an exhibit to the ‘Ghosts of the Garment District’ (aka MK and Ashley) trying not to be visible in the media. Olen and Harkins teamed up with Chicago artist Laura Collins to bring you the “The Olsen Twins Hiding From the Paparazzi” exhibition. Olen and Harkins have museum experience, they opened THNK 1994 Museum in their NYC apartment hallway; ‘THNK 1994’ was dedicated to the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan Scandal. When Laura Collins met with the pair to talk about donating some of her artwork for THNK 1994, the dream of the MKA Museum was born. It’s gonna be good. This is a description of MK’s wedding table at her recent marriage to Oliver Sarkozy. “Bowls and bowls of cigarettes, black orchids, and a button that you can press that doesn’t seem to do anything but then 45 seconds later you hear someone scream in the distance.” Chapeau want one of these buttons. #chapeaulondon #chapeaublog #dedicatedtothethingswelove #wordsandpictures #amazing #london #lifestyle #MKA #vivianaolen #mattharkins #lauracollins #art #nyc #brooklyn

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In 2016 the pair had a whole exhibition devoted to them! Ok, they didn’t have a say in this, but you know you’ve made it when artists are painting your portrait. The Olsen Twins Hiding From The Paparazzi was devoted to images of Mary-Kate and Ashley hiding their faces and donning big sunglasses in an attempt to escape photographers.
The exhibition was conceived by comedians Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins, who teamed up with artist Laura Collins to create the show. And, life even imitates art it seems, as Collins posted a side-by-side paparazzi photo earlier this year of an Olsen twin seemingly mimicking one of the paintings.
The Art Boys

Let’s get onto the girls’ dating lives now shall we? Ashley Olsen in particular appears to have a penchant for the art gent. In 2016 she was rumoured to be dating George Condo, who created a fashion advertisement for the Row. Was the relationship business or pleasure? We’re not sure, but we all know there are perks to dating artists, and having them do advertising for you is one of them.

Besides George Condo, Ashley also began dating art dealer Richard Sachs later that year. The relationship was short lived however, ending after just five months of dating, with Ashley wanting to focus on her fashion empire. Business first ladies!

Following her relationship with Sachs, Ashley moved on to artist Louis Eisner in 2017. And, don’t you go thinking for a moment Ashley was the only one to get into the art-guy dating game. Mary-Kate dated artist – and nephew to Uma Thurman – Max Snow, swiftly moving on to another artist, Nate Lowman. She didn’t settle for an art guy however, going on to marry Olivier Sarkozy.
The Art Collections

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New York Store #TheRow

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Now, let’s move to the Olsens’ own art collection. The walls of their townhouse-flagship-store for The Row in New York is filled to the brim with art. It includes works by Basquiat and Man Ray, and we’re jealous.

But what inside the girls’ homes? While we don’t know for sure what they look like, we do know that Joel Chen is their furniture dealer. Coinciding with a sale of his pieces by Christie’s New York in 2018, Coveteur showed us around his own place, and to say it looked luxurious would be an understatement.

And the girls’ interest in art is long-lived. In a 2008 interview with ELLE magazine, Mary-Kate explained that her art collection is her prized possession: “All I really need is my bed and my art around me.” That art is said to include work by Andy Warhol, Thomas Ruff and Nobuyoshi Araki.
Now Let’s Talk Social Media

Have you looked at The Row’s IG feed recently? If you have I’m sure you’ll notice how there is more art than there are clothes. A detailed analysis we made of the Olsen art-feed can be read here, but in the meantime, let us surmise that the predominantly art dominated account can only say one thing: THEY LOVE ART. Since the pair do not have their own individual IG handles, the fact that the one they share together is art, art and more art can only reaffirm this.
Text Lizzy Vartanian
Images via @neonurchin, @therow, @gt_magazine, @olsensdaily, @therowarchive, @yannrehaan, @marykateandashleyo, @jenniferjamesinteriorsl, @_annieliebovitz

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