MoCA- damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

A familiar feeling is coming around, one nostalgic to the time of the Oscars.  When Banksy “came” to L.A. to install a few stencils this year, the whole city lost it’s lid. Photographers trolled around the city like it was a treasure hunt, truth of the matter was- the best photos of the work could be found on Banksy’s website, check em out: CLICK HERE.

Everyone lost their mind- I’m pretty sure 85 new kids started putting up posters the week of the Oscars.  I’m not sure why- perhaps its just the new trend being on t.v. and in movies, books in Urban Outfitters, etc etc- what are they thinking- “if I glue posters to electrical boxes I will have a chance at an Oscar?” Who knows?  Perhaps it’s just a growing SCENE and a way for weird kids to fit in together, ones who sucked at sports or can’t play music. Who cares?

So now it’s April and L.A. has this flourishing street art scene, which isn’t automatically a bad thing. The WORLD has a flourishing street art scene.  Graffiti seems to have taken a back seat to this new method and medium.  Even The Status Faction, in large part, have fallen back on spraying letters to do more stencils and posters. Graffiti isn’t seeming to get 100% of the love it used to, I suggest you try it!  Let’s see your funky fresh letters!  Grab a backpack full of cans, climb a roof and set it off!  Good luck!  It’s far more difficult, has far less reward and if you suck- the graffiti community will have no qualms about crossing you out. In the world of street art, people are greatly enthusiastic and supportive, most are friendly. I’ve yet to hear a great story of violence over a spot, which is common in graffiti.  One can put 100 posters up in a night, upload them to the internet, get some love, book a show, sell some shit and BAM!  There you go!  Do it! Why not??? The motivation can be $kewed to use the $treet in 2011.

This weekend will mark the opening of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art’s new exhibit “ART IN THE STREETS” which is a history of graffiti and street art through many of the world’s most well known participants.  My question is WHAT THE FUCK IS WITH ALL THE HOOPLA? Why so much controversy and backlash?

Let me start with the Blu mural that was commissioned than buffed by the director of the MoCA.  My own personal opinion is…  GOOD.  Buff that shit out.  Who the fuck are you Blu? I’ve seen your art, but you do not live in L.A.  you are invited to this great Nation, paid to make something of value for a MUSEUM, paid to make something LEGALLY, and you have the nerve to create something about United States politics???!!!  I’d prefer you speak on the politics of your own country.  You carelessly paint a mural that is offensive as all fuck to the neighboring establishments and then bone out of town…  weak.  Deitch might have just made a mistake hiring that guy, maybe he should have asked ROA instead.  The mural, in my opinion, wasn’t very original and wasn’t really that well done, in MY opinion.  You took your money, which was like $30,000 to $40,000+ or something ridiculous and ran.  Then you acted all hard trying to be like “don’t censor me, this is the streets!” Shut the front door sonion, this is a MURAL, done legally, for a museum, not some shit you painted at night without permission.  That mural was as commercial as any art could get and the client wasn’t happy- so he hired someone else.  If you work in the design world, this isn’t unfamiliar.  Happens all the time.

Dear Blu– we who live in the U.S.A. are well aware of our struggles with debt and war, no need for you to fly all the way from Italy to come and point it out.  For your actions- we will be sending the entire cast of Mtv’s JERSEY SHORE to your country to film season 4.  They will each be paid $100,000 per episode.
Revenge is a bitch!!!

Are you serious? It’s his JOB to curate the museum, he makes the executive choice what appears on that property and what doesn’t.  Let him do his thing.  After all- Deitch doesn’t go down to the Burger King and tell you how to do your job!!

So what happens after that??? L.A.’s most ungrateful dudes make posters slamming Deitch. The backlash was too dramatic. Whining about how Deitch is a censor, but then frosting the cake with putting their posters OVER other street artist’s posters. Spreading MORE negativity!

They basically did the same thing Deitch did!  WHAT HYPOCRISY!!! You think one message is more powerful than another, one thing needs to be seen and the other doesn’t?  Where is our peace? Yo what happened? Oh well, actions always speak louder than words.

Deitch made cultural choices and stood behind them.  Blu’s mural story went viral and his shock value served more publicity than deserved, he still got paid and caught the fame.  We all saw that miserable death reminding mural. If you think that you’re a better director and more qualified- you should have applied for the job at the MoCA! Post your resume. If you hate Deitch- just boycott the exhibit, it’s just a fucking art show after all.

In conclusion- I personally am EXCITED to see this exhibit. I am interested to see how these artists translate their work from outside a building to inside a building. Why complain?  How many of you street and graffiti artists are still “keeping it real”??

I highly suspect a LARGE part of these people are the same ones who wait in line at the Neckface show, drive all over looking for parking at the latest Shepard Fairey opening, attended DFACE’s show, saw EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, went to the MBW show in 2008, and all the other minor galleries at crewest, Street Art Pop Up, Montana Store, 2Bad Refresh, and on and on and on.  You go to many of the other galleries supporting the kings and underdogs then cry about the museum.  The artists involved in the MoCA have often been on the outside division of the fine art world, it’s a compliment to the medium for them to get the spotlight for an exhibit of this scale.  I think Deitch is the opposite of a “safe show,” I think he has balls to put this on, and the city will embrace it.  I predict ticket sales will be sky high and attendance will be huge.  What a gift to our city of Los Angeles.  Congrats!



6 responses

  1. well said & fully agree.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm

  2. Im glad he was paid and now I can careless about the buff.

    Great read, thank you.

    April 14, 2011 at 6:50 pm

  3. thanks for a true read T$F. You got that shit right. Well written. cheers to art and i will see you at MOCA.

    April 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

  4. Thank you for clarifying the situation. I couldn’t agree more and can’t wait to see the show.

    April 17, 2011 at 11:23 pm

  5. Loved your insights on this!

    April 21, 2011 at 8:39 pm

  6. Pingback: Mirror Message from The Status Faction | According to G

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