Saturday, May 14, 2011

Art In The Streets

How can one even think of bringing street art indoors? MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch did, and made it happen -- turning an outlaw art movement into a landmark retrospective. MOCA's new show is a tour de force. The first major historical exhibition of graffiti and street art organized by an American museum, Art in the Streets takes visitors on a wild journey spanning forty years and four continents, from grassroot gangland to global influence.

The exhibit is awesome as a detailed survey of the most influential art movement since Pop -- showcasing its many facets, connections and influences, from intimate graffiti to elaborate installation; crayon to video; visual to music, dance, film and fashion; New York to L.A., San Francisco, Paris, London and São Paulo.

Naysayers will argue that street art doesn't belong in a museum, but the eager crowds queuing to see the show are an evident rebuff. Not your usual crowds either, with plenty of "street people" who would normally not visit a museum, but are curious and proud to have their culture and communities celebrated through the artwork. This may be Art in the Streets' greatest achievement.

Review in LA Weekly + KCRW's DnA. More photos of the show here. Worth checking: Street World: Urban Art & Culture from 5 Continents.
Update 05/17/11: More on street art: Free Walls project
Update 05/25/11: MOCA's Art in the Streets gets its documentary close-up
Update 05/26/11: Mainstream success puts graffiti artists in law enforcement's sights
Update 06/02/11: Proposal for new law identifying murals as art
photos LA Frog

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