Photo by G.
Art In The Streets. Coming to the Brooklyn Museum - NOT!
After spending the weekend at the Mermaid Day Parade and the Folsom Street East Festival, two very liberal events in New York, my jaded self was starting to think that people are finally starting to get together en masse to say “we’re sick of the way things are and we are going to put a stop to it.” Without me going into a preaching rant (too late), let me just leave it at this: 1% of the world controls the other 99% – WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT?
In Los Angeles at the Museum of Contemporary Art, they are exhibiting “Art in the Streets,” a celebration and pretty comprehensive history of graffiti and street art. Before launching in LA, it caused all kinds of controversy from the inclusion and omission of certain artists in an artistic version of Payola, to the removal of some ‘officially sanctioned’ works on the streets to an alleged increase in graffiti in LA that resulted in high profile news stories of multiple artists getting arrested.
“Art in the Streets” has been wildly successful and on a recent trip to Los Angeles, I saw the exhibit and I thought it was absolutely amazing. The space is huge, the presentation is great and the art is fantastic. It obviously has some limitations, but with all the controversy surrounding the show, it far exceeded my expectations. “Art in the Streets” was meant to travel to the Brooklyn Museum in 2012 and it was announced yesterday that those plans have been canceled.
There are multiple theories about what is happening here. The museum is claiming that it is very expensive to transport the show across the country and I can definitely understand that (but isn’t the transportation of ALL art shows expensive?); however almost every story on the interwebs about the show cancellation doesn’t mention the moving fees as the main reason but instead cites the “safety and protection of the people from vandalism.”
I can assure you from meeting a ton of street artists that they have no intentions of hurting you, so PLEASE GET OVER YOURSELF! I’m not saying there are not bad seeds here and there, but in any group of people, there are always one or two that spoil it for everyone. This news is extra disappointing coming from the same place that houses Wall Street – real and proven criminals. These people really do hurt others and are allowed to roam free, while street artists are just trying to express themselves and will face criminal charges if caught with a roller and wheat paste!
Love or hate street art, I think the exhibit pleases even the toughest art critics because even if you don’t care for the art, you can’t deny the presentation of the show which has reproductions of several art galleries and has over 65 separate sections! This is a huge blow to New York’s cool factor and it is appalling that the same city that gave rise to Keith Haring and Basquiat is taking a huge step backward by saying no to celebrating the legacy of art in the streets.
Also, say what you will about the genre of street art and these “criminal activities,” but you will rarely find artists this organized to travel renegade style with the materials they use, be as dedicated to taking huge risks at all hours of the day and night and often for no financial gain!
So let me just sum up as I went on a bit longer than I expected: Freedom of expression – bad. Financial crimes that are affecting the masses negatively – good. Percentage of people in “the masses” – 99%. Percentage of people controlling the masses – 1%. It just takes a leader to emerge and the masses will follow. Is that going to be you? If you live in New York, think of all those vacant hours you have to fill now that you won’t be able to see “Art in the Streets.”
Photo by G. Art by Banksy.
Banksy at Art in The Streets at MOCA in LA.
God bless Banksy! The artist has a gift for Los Angeles street art lovers. For the duration of the “Art In The Streets” exhibit at MOCA in Downtown Los Angeles, you can get in for free on Mondays, courtesy of the artist. This offer is good through August 8, 2011. I wonder if Banksy will bail out his pal Mr. Brainwash who has just lost a copyright infringement suit.
PS. I’ve seen this exhibit and even if you have to pay, it’s SOOOOOO worth it!
Photos by G. Various Artists.
Any Person Found Painting Graffiti on These Premises Will Be Reported - To The Nearest Art Dealer by Banksy.
Prior to the opening of the “Art In The Streets” at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, there was a lot of controversy surrounding the exhibit. MOCA’s Jeffrey Deitch ordered the removal of a mural he sanctioned, the final list of included artists was missing many legends in street art and many artists were getting busted by police. I had mixed feelings going into the exhibit but from the second I set foot until the moment I left, all I can say is that if you are a fan of street art or graffiti, you cannot even think about missing this exhibit.
First off, the “Art In The Streets” exhibit is enormous! There are approximately 65 sections featuring different periods and artists in this urban movement and each portion is more amazing than the one before it. Alleyways and the influential New York art space Fun Gallery have been recreated, large scale murals are featured everywhere, and there are photos, paintings, sculptures and films throughout the exhibit. This is in fact one of the rare instances where the catalog of the show is worth getting. Ironic, since they allow photography (without the use of flash) inside the museum. Typically, museums will not allow photos so that you will buy the book, but I will certainly mention this exhibit the next time I enter a museum and they try and stop me from taking pictures.
Some of the artists that are prominently featured are Rammellzee, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring, Banksy, Jamie Reid, Crash, Futura, Lady Pink, Fab 5 Freddy, Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, Lee Quinones, Roa, Eine, Craig Stecyk III, Gusmano Cesaretti, Retna, Chaz Bojorquez, Invader, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Ed Templeton, Kaws, Larry Clark, Craig Costello, Terry Richardson, Mark Gonzales, Cheryl Dunn, Neckface, Freedom, Andre, Os Gemeos, Mister Cartoon, Saber, Revok, JR and so many more! You will definitely need several hours to attempt to take it all in.
“Art In The Streets” is on display until August 8, 2011 at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Downtown Los Angeles and you should not miss it under any circumstance!
Partial view of "Art In The Streets" at MOCA
The Spray Paint Hall of Fame
Photo by G.
Don't Be A Deitch Bag
The controversial show “Art in the Streets” at MOCA in Downtown Los Angeles opens today. Due to previous commitments in New York, I had to give up my opening night ticket and that does not make me happy! But I do have every intention on seeing the show before it closes on August 8, 2011. The exhibit will be on view at the Brooklyn Museum from March 30 – July 8, 2012.
Photo by G.
Disapproved by Deitch
After much controversy, including the removal of a commissioned street art piece by Blu, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, headed by Jeffrey Deitch, has revealed the list of featured artists in the upcoming “Art in the Streets” exhibit. The list appears courtesy of LA Weekly.
CRAIG R. STECYK III
FAB 5 FREDDY
IZ THE WIZ
…plus one extra bonus artist.
I think the bonus artist will be Banksy. In a quick perusal of the list, I see Blek Le Rat is missing. Who else has been disapproved by Deitch?