Still in his first year as the new head of Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, former dealer Jeffrey Deitch dogged a bullet to some degree with his first major blunder. You’ll recall that as he was getting lots of local and web attention for his decision to paint over a mural by a street artist the museum itself commissioned but later worried would be too controversial, all of it was largely overshadowed by the raging controversy on the other side of the country, as the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian were still trying to repair damage from their own pulled-art fiasco. Sure, there were protests in Los Angeles and depictions of Deitch in far from positive lights wound up appearing, but fortunately for he and the museum, it seemed to pass quickly. And while everyone knew that hiring the wronged artist, Blu, and the mural he was supposed to paint, was all in support of the museums soon-to-launch exhibition on street art, we get the idea that maybe they held off publishing news about it until the fires died down. Now it’s finally come out, with their press release announcing Art in the Streets, the first major exhibition in the US of graffiti and street art, running from mid-April through to early August. Here are some of the details and artists involved:
Art in the Streets will showcase installations by 50 of the most dynamic artists from the graffiti and street art community, including Fab 5 Freddy (New York), Lee Quinones (New York), Futura (New York), Margaret Kilgallen (San Francisco), Swoon (New York), Shepard Fairey (Los Angeles), Os Gemeos (Sao Paulo), and JR (Paris). MOCA’s exhibition will emphasize Los Angeles’s role in the evolution of graffiti and street art, with special sections dedicated to cholo graffiti and Dogtown skateboard culture. The exhibition will feature projects by influential local artists such as Craig R. Stecyk III, Chaz Bojorquez, Mister Cartoon, RETNA, SABER, REVOK, and RISK.
A special emphasis will be placed on photographers and filmmakers who documented graffiti and street art culture including Martha Cooper, Henry Chalfant, James Prigoff, Steve Grody, Gusmano Cesaretti, Estevan Oriol, Ed Templeton, Larry Clark, Terry Richardson, and Spike Jonze. A comprehensive timeline illustrated with artwork, photography, video, and ephemera will provide further historical context for the exhibition.