THNK1994 Museum Celebrates Pop Culture From Tonya Harding To QVC

by Bri Kane

In case we didn’t already knew, New Yorkers stay inventive. And Viviana Olen and Matt Harkins have created a pop-culture utopia called THNK1994 — an apartment sized museum focusing on our modern pop culture faves. Their newest series, “The Moon Is A Planet, Darling,” is based off a Isaac Mizrahi QVC clip that went viral — I mean really, who hasn’t debated astrophysics while shopping?

Some of their most popular exhibits are focused on the Tonya Harding controversy, Housewives of somewhere pointing at something, and the ever-important Met Gala bathroom-smoking-selfie-taking situation. As Viviana Olen tells BUST, THNK1994 “focuses on women in the media who are very confident and very iconic…and are warped by the media in a way that men are normally not.” THNK1994 is all your favorite pop culture people, shows, and moments all together, screaming, “WE’RE ART TOO.” 

mattviv 205b5 Viviana Olen and Matt Harkin at THNK1994, photo by Bri Kane

Arriving at THNK1994 is like walking into your new best friends’ apartment — Matt or Viviana greet you like they’ve been dancing in anticipation for you all morning. For “The Moon Is A Planet, Darling,” they’ve transformed the museum into a spaceship-esque, purple-hued heaven. Enjoy a stroll through the cosmos of their paintings, posters, videos and tin foil hats, it may not take long but is easy to spend all day in. Harking and Olen explained to BUST they want their museum to be “the safest of spaces,” with a Planet Fitness-like motto: No one here is going to judge you for loving Britney Spears, fawning over Desperate Housewives, or knowing more than you should about Barbra Streisand’s closet. Be warned, don’t bring some lame-Judgey-McJudge friend to deep sigh and side-eye everyone screaming about the Britney Spears Sailor Moon piece — when asked what those people should do, Harkins and Olen say in unison, “Get out.” You can have a “really intellectual conversation” about the “performance artists” involved in reality TV shows — shouts to Paris Hilton and Tiffany Pollard — but not if you approach it with condemnation and judgment.

thnk 1994 1 06536photo by Bri Kane
Matt Harkins tells BUST the story of how the museum even happened: It started as two new friends becoming new roommates, bonding over a late-night movie sesh, and turning their hallway into an art museum — someone call Hollywood, because I would tune into that every damn week. While gabbing, we discuss possible celebrity best friends (“Mariah Carey was like, ‘Britney is cool, that’s a litmus test,’” says Harkins), and how pained Harkins and Olen are to raise the entry fee from $6 to $10 for their upcoming Celebrities Smoking In The Bathroom At The Met Ball exhibit. But really, a few singles is definitely worth attending a party themed around attending a backstage QVC party, or attending a seminar about crystals while sitting in front of a giant painting of Cher.

thnk 1994 3 11ba8photo by Bri Kane

Check out their website for more upcoming events, tickets, and sneak peaks at their exhibit – and don’t forget, Tiffany Pollard is a “icon of a generation.”

top image: “The Moon Is A Planet, Darling” by Miriam Carothers via THNK1994

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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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