An amazing wall by Blu in LA, and an even more amazing move by MOCA to buff it within 24 hours.
It raises interesting questions about Jeffrey Deitch's influence and the much-hyped forthcoming 'Art on the Streets' show, as GOOD says:
So what gives? Was the mural too politically charged for other members of the MOCA team? What would that mean for Deitch's purported sea change? If a blanket anti-war (or anti-death industry?) statement is too controversial for MOCA, what can we look forward to this spring?
Update: Apparently MOCA has provided a response (which took significantly longer to formulate than it took to buff the wall):
“MOCA commissioned Blu, one of the world’s most outstanding street artists to create a work for the north wall of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
The Geffen Contemporary building is located on a special, historic site. Directly in front the north wall is the Go For Broke monument, which commemorates the heroic roles of Japanese American soldiers, who served in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, and opposite the wall is the LA Veterans’ Affairs Hospital. The museum’s director explained to Blu that in this context, where MOCA is a guest among this historic Japanese American community, the work was inappropriate. MOCA has invited Blu to return to Los Angeles to paint another mural.”
To me, this is a terrible explanation. The concept that street art and graffiti must be 'appropriate', to the point of not making political statements, is absurd and contrary to the history of the medium. In this context, I doubt the 'Art on the Streets' show will be appropriate to its title.
Update 2: Blu's reaction:
1. Moca asks me to paint a mural
2. I go to L.A. to paint the piece and I almost finish it
3. the Moca director decides to erase the wall
4. on the next day the mural is erased by Moca workers
5. journalists are still not sure if this can be called censorship so they start asking my opinion about that
See more by Blu.
location: MOCA, Los Angeles
images by Casey Caplowe. Thanks to Daniel Lahoda/ JetSet Graffiti for the tip
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