Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art‘s Art in the Streets exhibition was finally announced late last month and is set to open this weekend, but that isn’t to say the heat on museum director Jeffrey Deitch has faded. You’ll perhaps recall the last few months of various forms of fallout following Deitch’s decision to immediately paint over a mural by street artist Blu that the museum itself had commission but found too controversial for their tastes once it was nearly finished. Murals popped up depicting director-as-dictator and a handful of protests made the news, among other incidents of people socially expressing their distaste for Deitch’s move. Now we have a favorite from the movement against the decision, the recently launched “Red Sticker Campaign” by Nick Douglas and his MOCA-latte group. How it works: write in to the site, or check in soon at local stores who will be carrying them, and you’ll receive a batch of stickers that read “APPROVED” or “DISAPPROVED.” When you see a piece of street art that needs judgment, you can act like your very own LA MoCA director by deciding the merits of the work and stickering as you see fit. After you’ve made your decision, snap a photo and send it in to the site for their gallery (you might enjoy seeing that Mr. Brainwash seems not to be receiving much approval). It’s a terrific response to the Deitch debacle and we wish the project all the best. Here’s a bit from their excellent manifesto (because every worthwhile organization should have one):
Street art is a populist form of art. It is free. It is in the public space. MOCA is a publicly owned museum. Curating art holds a public trust. Culture is sifted, ranked, established, and rejected on behalf of the community by its curators. I’d like to ask, why not make this process a referendum? Let’s all vote for ourselves! There is so much art in the streets, I propose that we give Deitch a hand by personally curating the street art of Los Angeles on our own. Maybe he’ll even be interested to know how we vote. It’s our art, the public’s art that he is ensconcing into the history of art, it’s our museum he’s revitalizing, …or not.
Just a thought: how soon do you think these will start appearing in the exhibition itself? We give it two hours.