MOCA street art show book (and a small rant about the show)

November 15th, 2010 | By | 7 Comments »

Art In the Streets is an upcoming book by Jeffrey Deitch, Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose. The book, available April 12th, coincides with Deitch’s street art exhibition coming to MOCA next spring (Rose and Gastman are involved in putting the show together). While this will probably be just another nice exhibition catalog once it’s published, the official does provide further insight into what the MOCA show will be about (emphasis added):

The first large-scale American museum exhibition to survey the colorful history of graffiti and street art movements internationally. Graffiti has been a form of public communication and identification since ancient times. In its contemporary manifestation, it has redefined the urban landscape and influenced generations of artists. This landmark exhibition traces the birth and dissemination of styles through “writers” and street artists around the world—including Jean-Michel Basquiat, Blu, Martha Cooper, Shepard Fairey, Stelios Faitakis, Futura, Phil Frost, Os Gêmeos, Keith Haring, Todd James (REAS), Margaret Kilgallen, Lady Pink, Barry McGee (Twist), Steve Powers (ESPO), Lee Quinones, Retna, Kenny Scharf, Swoon, and Ed Templeton, among many others—focusing on New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, as well as international locations. Highlighting the connection between graffiti and street art and other vibrant subcultures, such as those that developed around Hip Hop in the Bronx and skateboarding in Southern California, Art in the Streets explores parallel movements in dance and music. A selection of new works created for the show is presented alongside the historical survey of approximately 30 of the most important artists seminal to the genre. The exhibition is curated by MoCA Director Jeffrey Deitch, working with a curatorial advisory committee that includes Charlie Ahearn, Roger Gastman, Carlo McCormick, and Aaron Rose.

It’s interesting to see the direction this exhibition is taking with the choice of artists, but a bit predictable as well:

  • Aaron Rose is best-known for Alleged Gallery and Beautiful Losers, the film about that gallery, and Deitch Projects picked up a number of artists who had been showing at Alleged Gallery (Steve Powers, Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen), and a number of the “Beautiful Losers” are included in Art In The Streets.
  • A number of the artists (Martha Cooper, Futura, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey, Stelios Faitakis, Os Gêmeos, Kenny Scharf and Swoon if memory serves) were all involved in last year’s Deitch-curated Wynwood Walls mural project.
  • Blu painted a mural sponsored by Deitch Projects.
  • Deitch Projects also work with Basquiat, Fairey, Os Gêmeos, Haring, Todd James, Scharf and Swoon (or their estates).

People are going to give MOCA shit for this, but you know what… It’s probably gonna be a good exhibition. Obviously it’s not exactly the show that myself or anyone else would have put together, but Deitch and his curatorial committee have good taste. Of course there’s going to have been some financial ties to the artists they select. If that weren’t the case, the show would have been woefully incomplete. Deitch Projects and Alleged Gallery both worked with some of the best artists associated with street art and graffiti. I can hardly imagine a stronger team putting together Art In The Streets, and I hope that, when this opens, people can look past potential conflicts of interests and just appreciate the show on its own merits.

Photo courtesy of Rizzoli

Category: Books / Magazines, Gallery/Museum Shows | Tags: , , ,
  • 4444

    Bit of a toothless rant. More like a warm ass-nuzzle with added tongue.

  • RJ

    I guess you were assuming that my rant was going to be anti-MOCA or something?

    If I was trying to be against anything, I was attempting to address the haters out there who will be upset and claim that Deitch and Rose are transplanting their galleries to museums.

    Admittedly, “ramble” or something might have been a better word than “rant.”

  • RJ

    While I’m not sure that any critics have yet taken to criticizing MOCA for the art selection of this show, critics have certainly speculated and expressed worry that Deitch would turn MOCA into a venue for artists who worked with Deitch Projects. So while the issue hasn’t been raised in this specific instance, it has definitely come up about Deitch’s new job in general.

    Yeah, I can see how it could come across as ass-kissing a bit. Generally, I certainly look up to Deitch and like to say positive things about him, but since I’m reasonably sure he doesn’t read Vandalog, this probably isn’t the venue to kiss his ass.

  • 4444

    Was just slightly bemused, especially seeing as the ‘rant’ is about an issue that hasn’t even arisen. That felt a bit weak. In my opinion if somebody is going to rant, then it’s probably only worthwhile if the problem they’re talking about actually exists. Making preemptive strikes against ‘haters’ (such a juvenile word) feels a bit like a guilt-ridden bunker mentality has set in.

    Seems strange that a blog allegedly about vandalism would be arguing against criticising the establishment. It just came off like an excuse to do some ass-kissing, that’s all.

  • 4444

    I wouldn’t be so sure. He’s probably got an intern employed just to google his name on constant rotation.

  • RJ

    I THINK, but this is just a guess on my part, that the book will include about 30 artists, but that the exhibition itself may include the 100+ previously mentioned. Just my guess.

  • proper

    the book indicates that there will be a survey of approximately 30 important artists and 19 artists – historical and current – are listed. so who are the other 11?

    prior reports suggests that Banksy & Mr. Cartoon will be included (and if Banksy is involved, as Deitch previously remarked, it is odd that he didn’t make the cut for the list from the book).

    three other significant street art 2.0 innovators who should be included are JR (pushing wheat pasting photos to new levels and using it for politics in interesting ways), Mark Jenkins (sculptural/3d street artist extraordinaire), and Evan Roth (geek graffiti genius).

    curious if anyone else from the bay area will be included (Rigo23, Andrew Schoultz, and Heart101/Sara Thustra are three of my favorites who were making innovative work on the streets before Wooster Collective/street art 2.0).