Eating is many things, but an exercise in intellect isn’t usually one of them. As enjoyable as a burger and chips undoubtedly is, it’s hard to say with a straight face that it’s as civilised as a trip to the opera. Fortunately however, for anyone who feels that their more sophisticated friends might be looking down on their fast food habits, a new exhibition is pushing food into the artistic mainstream. Theatre-lovers: eat your heart out.
This autumn has seen the grand opening of “The Museum of Pizza” in Brooklyn, New York. Described as “the world's first and only immersive art experience celebrating pizza”, the installation offers visitors the chance to get to know their favourite fast food like never before. For anyone who claims to be a proper pie-fan, this attraction is an absolute must-visit.
The museum features a raft of interactive exhibits, all focusing on different aspects of the pizza experience. Displays vary from individual sculptures and statues honouring the world’s favourite food, to huge, walk-in collectives that encourage audience participation. Such is the diversity of stuff on offer that the new exhibition can honestly claim to cover all aspects of pizza eating.
In an interview with The New York Post, Chief Content Officer at Nameless Network - the group who backed the project - Alexandra Serio said that, “It’s often that the simplest ideas are the best. And we wanted to use pizza’s ubiquitous appeal to get people through the door and looking at art and hearing about history in a different format.” She went on to elaborate that, “Our approach to this Museum of Pizza is a fine art approach, so we went out to multiple artists contemporary in many mediums, and asked them for their interpretation of pizza.” The result is as eclectic as it is engaging.
The Nameless Network’s approach appears to be paying dividends. It was reported that the museum attracted over 6,000 visitors in two weeks when it opened in mid-October, and there are plenty more who remain eager to pay a visit. The fact that there is real life pizza waiting for visitors at the end of the exhibit is just an added bonus.
Speaking to The New York Post after taking a trip to the museum, New Jersey resident Nene Raye gave a glowing review. “Honestly, I thought it would be like more of a museum like at the beginning, with the pizza boxes and it kinda tells you when it was developed and stuff like that,” she told the paper. “Then I was kinda hoping they had something artsy in it because I love taking pictures. So this is a mashup of everything so you get a little bit of education and then some fun, which I love.”
The museum is only open until November 18th, so visitors will have to move fast if they want to secure tickets. Even though Italian comfort food might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to culture, The Museum of Pizza is intent on proving that fast food can be just as sophisticated as anything else. Whatever else you think of the idea, it’s obvious that this is one day trip that ticks plenty of pizza boxes.