MONA is a museum established in Hobart Tasmania. Tasmania is an island to the south of Australia and is a State of Australia.
David Walsh owns the MONA. His story is as interesting as the Art Gallery itself.
Source: Picture: Julian Kingma
The “poop machine” above is the museum’s latest iteration after the success of its earlier “vomit room.”
David Walsh, at 20, was an introverted, self-confessed maths nerd with a form of Asperger syndrome from a poor family in the struggle-town suburb of Glenorchy, Hobart. “He has been on a fascinating journey,” says Katsalidis. “In his early years he was very shy. One friend described him as having difficulties ordering a pizza, much less giving a speech.
“I dropped out of uni and became a professional gambler.”
“How many people who drop out of uni do OK? Quite a few. How many who drop out to become professional gamblers do OK? I don’t know of too many.”
Eventually he filled out his own entrance exam and started work at the ATO, an employer that would one day make a multi-million dollar claim against him. “They thought me a public service devotee because I always wore a suit [but] I wore a suit because they were mandatory at the casino,” he says.
He and a group of friends had started to count cards at the Hobart casino, using their talent for maths to try to beat the system. If Walsh arrived too early at the casino he would pass the time playing Space Invaders, again using maths, not intuition, to beat the machine — “count 22 shots, then shoot the flying saucer, after that 14 shots”
One of the few certainties about Walsh’s life is that his luck has never been dumb. Since his student days, when he learnt to count cards so well that he was banned from casinos, he has used his rare gift for mathematics to tame the vagaries of chance and become one of the country’s biggest gamblers. He claims he wins more than $8 million a year as a member of the world’s largest gambling syndicate, the 12-person group known as the Bank Roll, and ploughs almost all of it back into MONA, which he says loses $8 million a year despite its enormous popularity.
But the gambler-turned-art collector says he built the museum to stop himself feeling guilty for making money without making a mark.
MONA’s foyer is incorporated in a heritage-listed building that looks like something out of “The Jetsons.”
Visitors are given an iPod touch that uses GPS to work out which artwork they are standing in front of, then gives a running commentary from Walsh himself, interviews with the artists and plenty more.
That all comes via a button on the iPod marked “Art Wank” — you get the idea of the tone Walsh is trying to set now, perhaps.
From the lobby, a spiral staircase descends 17 meters underground, ending in a cathedral-like basement cordoned by a 250-million-year-old Triassic sandstone wall that Walsh, who once described himself as a “rabid atheist,” left exposed to challenge creationists on their beliefs.
What follows are three levels of steel and stone festooned with art and objects based around sex, death and evolution that are concurrently shocking, educational and entertaining.
The Museum is a collection of ancient and modern art in no particular order. It is the largest Private Museum in Australia.
Link to web page:
There is no art museum like MONA. David Walsh designed the Museum so it would be a discovery – new art beside ancient works art wank. (Australian slang for poser aor r}.The MONA makes art interesting to non art people.
Tasmania is very beautiful. Come down under,.
Tasmania is wild, windswept and, mountainous. It can be cold but it’s a good cold. It’s a cold that feels clean and invigorating. The countryside is reminiscent of the UK and parts of France, It is one of the unspoilt islands in the world. It is famous for environmental protection activists.