Tag Archive: MoCA

Seen: World Premiere of ‘Outside in’


Alex Stapleton’s ‘Outside in’, a documentary about MOCA’s ‘Art in the Streets’ exhibition, premiered at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood on Thursday evening.  Prior to the screening, three short films produced by film makers in conjunction with the Levi’s Film Workshop were shown focusing on Swoon, Kenny Scharf, and Neckface. The film provides a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of the museum exhibition including mural work by Kenny Scharf, Mode 2, Steve Powers and more.  Interviews with Invader, Ben Eine, Shepard Fairey, Revok, Risk and more give insight into the allure of street art and its historical importance.

The film also deals with efforts of law enforcement to arrest artists for vandalism.  A surprising interview (in that it was granted), with LA City Attorney Carmen A. Trutanich displays his zeal and apparent joy in specifically targeting ‘Art in the Streets’ artists.  This seemingly disproportionate emphasis on pursuing street artists resulted in Revok’s recent arrest.

After the film, Alex Stapleton, ‘Art in the Streets’ curators Aaron Rose, Roger Gastman, Patti Astor, Shepard Fairey, Neckface, Saber, Mister Cartoon and more held an informal Q+A session.  Later, Shepard Fairey (aka DJ Diabetic) handled the music for the after party in the theater’s courtyard.  See more photos from the event after the jump.

For those that missed the opening, look for news of additional screenings shortly.

More Images + Info »

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The Engagement Party: In Your Car @ MOCA (5.5)


As part of its ongoing Engagement Party series, MOCA will play host to the interactive production In Your Car. Composed of two concurrent sound projects broadcasting on local frequencies, In Your Car will feature Park Park Revolution, a composition “played” by cars parked in the Geffen Contemporary lot, and Ping Modulation, an homage to Robert Rauschenberg’s Open Score. In Ping Modulation, ping-pong tables will be equipped with contact microphones and sound processors, allowing visitors to play table tennis as the sounds they generate are fed to radio broadcasts in a true flux of audience participation and sound art.

To learn more, visit MOCA.

The Engagement Party - In Your Car
Geffen Contemporary, MOCA
153 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Rammellzee — ‘Battle Station’ for ‘Art in the Streets’ @ MOCA


The late Rammellzee combined hip-hop, graffiti, and more with his signature funky blend.  While few had the pleasure of visiting his loft, dubbed the Battle Station, to view his many eclectic creations, it has been recreated within a black-light bathed space for ‘Art in the Streets’ @ MOCA.  This up and close, immersive  encounter with Rammellzee’s ‘Gothic Futurism’ features a full suit of battle armor, numerous hand-sculpted figures, a squad of futuristic skate decks and more.

More Images + Info »

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Swoon for ‘Art in the Streets’ @ MOCA


Swoon’s delicate illuminated installation within  a dedicated tent-style enclosure  for ‘Art in the Streets’ at the Museum of Contemporary Art exudes ethereal beauty.  The towering piece mixes the appeal of  paper-cut style textures with shadows cast onto the tent.

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‘Art in the Streets’ @ MOCA (4.17)


Ever since the initial announcement back in September, collectors, followers and practitioners  of Graffiti and Street Art have been looking forward to the Museum of Contemporary Art’s bound to be seminal ‘Art in the Streets’ expansive exhibition.   Today, the museum announced a tantalizing high-level overview of the show which opens on Saturday, April 17th @ the Geffen Contemporary in downtown Los Angeles and runs through August 8th.  After its initial LA run, the exhibition will travel to the Brooklyn Museum (March 30th – July 8th 2012).  ‘Art in the Streets’ is the first museum show to chronicle the explosive history of Graffiti and Street Art.

Organized by MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch and co-curators Roger Gastman and Aaron Rose,  Art in the Streets offers several interrelated sections designed to deliver the multiple facets, milestones and nuances  of these two emergent art forms.  Installations of 50 influential graffiti and street artists including Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quinones, Futura, Margaret Kilgallen, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, Os Gemeos and JR, will anchor the exhibition.   The LA exhibition will highlight the city’s contribution to both graffiti and street art with sections for cholo graffiti as well as  the ‘Dogtown’ skateboard scene.  Several local artists will be featured including Craig R. Stecyk III, Chaz Bojórquez, Mister Cartoon, RETNA, SABER, REVOK, and RISK.

Focused sections will  highlight specific seminal developments in graffiti  including Patti Astor’s Fun Gallery which introduced seminal artists Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat to the broader art community in the 80’s.  Additional sections will reflect on the highly influential ‘Wild Style’ film, offer a rare look at Battle Station created by the late artist and gothic futurism theorist Rammellzee,  present the ‘Martin Wong Collection’which includes ‘black books’ and other noted works, and finally revisit ‘Street Market’ with a special LA edition of the urban street installation from Todd James, Barry McGee and Steve Powers, complete with overturned trucks.

In keeping with the goal of presenting a history of graffiti and street art, Art in the Streets will also highlight the contributions of photographers and filmmakers who documented both genres including Martha Cooper, Estevan Oriol, Gusmano Cesaretti, Terry Richardson, and Spike Jonze.

The exhibition will also feature an extensive catalog published by Skira Rizzoli and edited by Nikki Columbus.  Beyond chronicling the exhibition, the catalog will include interviews and discussions about several key historical developments including wild style, cholo graffiti and the influence of skate and punk subcultures.

It goes without saying, but for emphasis – this is a must see for anyone remotely interested in Graffiti and Street Art.

Art in the Streets
Opening: Saturday, April 17th 2011

Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
152 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90013

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Shows: William Leavitt: Theater Objects @ MOCA (3.13)


In the first solo museum exhibition and retrospective of the work of William Leavitt, MOCA presents Theater Objects, a 40-year spectrum of sculpture, paintings, photographs, performances, and work on paper.

Leavitt, identified as a pioneer in the development of 1960s and ’70s conceptual art in his native Los Angeles, explores and creates narratives with architectural and cultural fragments. As many of the artist’s individual works relate to plays or staged performances, he characterizes the metropolitan scape of the city as “the theater of the ordinary,” bordering between nature and artifice.

In addition to displaying roughly 90 visual works, the museum will feature two of the artist’s performance pieces, staging 1977’s Spectral Analysis and holding a table reading of 2003’s Pyramid, Lens, Delta.

Find more at the MOCA blog.

William Leavitt: Theater Objects
Opening: Sunday, March 13
MOCA Grand Avenue
250 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Shows: Rodarte @ MOCA (3.4)


In Rodarte: States of Matter, MOCA presents the work of Rodarte, a collaboration between fashion and costume designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Inspired by such visual phenomena as local landscapes, Japanese horror films, and the California Condor, Rodarte manipulates fabrics to endow them with different colors, shapes, sizes, textures, and patterns, ultimately reassembling them into wearable sculpture. Weaving, layering, and knitting processes unite the disguised materials to produce facsimiles of plaid, wool, vinyl, leather, cheesecloth, and crystal, among others.

The exhibition will include over 20 predominantly black-and-white pieces from Rodarte’s runway and film costume collections, displaying them as autonomous pieces of sculpture while presenting them in an identity-defying state of flux.

Visit the MOCA blog for more.

Rodarte: States of Matter
Opening: Friday, March 4
MOCA Pacific Design Center
8687 Melrose Ave.
West Hollywood, CA 90069

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Street Art Panel @ Fowler (1.13)


In light of both the recent MOCA-Blu faceoff and an episode in which New York street artists tagged a Kenny Scharf mural, this Thursday, UCLA’s Fowler Museum of Cultural History will host “How Does Street Art Humanize Cities?”, a panel exploring the concept of propriety in street art and its effect on the city in which it is placed.

The panel will coincide with the closing week of the museum’s exhibition of Larry Yust’s photographs of metropolitan street art. Moderated by LA Times arts writer Jori Finkel, the panel will feature Fowler curator Patrick Polk, who organized the Yust show; independent curator Aaron Rose, who is helping organize the upcoming MOCA street art survey; and two of Los Angeles’s best-known muralists: Man One and Retna.

Find more here.

How Does Street Art Humanize Cities?
Thursday, 1.13, 7:00 p.m.
Fowler Museum of Cultural History
North Campus, UCLA
Los Angeles, CA 90095

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Street Artists Stage Anti-Deitch Protest


On Monday night, as a response to Jeffrey Deitch’s now-infamous decision to whitewash an anti-war, MOCA-commissioned mural by Blu, a group of street artists and war veterans assembled to perform in creative protest. Gathered at the Geffen Contemporary parking lot, the self-proclaimed activists scrawled laser graffiti onto the building’s north wall.

Artist/computer programmer Todd Moyer created the laser graffiti gun–which Leo Limon and The Phantom Street Artist (among others) used to tag the wall–specifically for the event. Written messages included “Dump Deitch.” “Give us back our walls!” “War is over?” and “Peace Now!” As a finale, the artists projected an image of the original mural, defaced with the word “censored” boldly printed in red. Each artist’s contribution reflects a common sentiment: that Deitch’s move was plainly a corporate act of control and hypocrisy.

Above is a video shot firsthand of the artists’ statements, both verbal and visual.

Find the full story at the LA Times.

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The League of Imaginary Scientists @ MOCA


Here’s a bit of neutral, even unarguably positive, news about MOCA: Following the successful HEFFINGTON MOVES MOCA run, an installment of the museum’s collaborative and innovative Engagement Party series, a new group will soon contribute to the developing program.

The League of Imaginary Scientists, as they’re known in the public realm, will enliven the project with three performances: Wormholes (January 6), a fantastical venture to locate holes created by the bilaterally symmetrical bodies of worms; The Automatoggler (February 3), the presentation of a machine purported to save humanity; and The Zephyr Experiment (March 3), in which the history of flight and space navigation are creatively explored.

Visit the Engagement Party page for more.

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Deitch Responds to Mural Queries


Following a thoroughly examined and ironic whitewashing of a MOCA-commissioned anti-war mural, Jeffrey Deitch has responded to public criticism regarding the museum’s self-sabotaging decision.

MOCA, which requested the mural in the spirit of its approaching Art in the Street exhibition only to promptly erase it, has issued an official statement deeming the mural “inappropriate.” The mural, painted on the north wall of the Geffen Contemporary, faces the nearby Veterans Administration; the statement emphasizes this juxtaposition as the reason for the effacement. Deitch confirmed the explanation, asserting that the mural was “insensitive.”

“Look at my gallery website — I have supported protest art more than just about any other mainstream gallery in the country,” Deitch added. “But as a steward of a public institution, I have to balance a different set of priorities — standing up for artists and also considering the sensitivities of the community.”

Deitch eschews talk of censorship, but does concede to poor timing. He states that he made the decision to clear the wall without hearing any complaints and after documenting the temporarily accessible work for the exhibition catalog.

For the full story, visit the LA Times.

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Blu Mural for MOCA Whitewashed


In an abrupt and still-inconclusive series of events, MOCA has apparently turned on itself. As a prelude to Art in the Street, the museum’s heralded upcoming street art exhibition, Italian artist Blu fully covered the north-facing wall of the Geffen Contemporary with a mural.  Shortly after the artist had completed the work, however, the museum began to whitewash the wall.

The piece depicted a series of coffins draped with one-dollar bills, a blatant replacement of the traditional display of the American flag during military funerals. Los Angeles Downtown News speculates that this may have proven offensive to the nearby Veterans Administration health care building, but the organization states that no complaints were made to MOCA. So far, MOCA has made no public statements regarding the erasure.

Find more here.

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Shows: Suprasensorial @ MOCA (12.12)


At once an exploration of light and space and of modern and contemporary Latin American art, MOCA’s Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space widens the scope of an art form commonly thought to originate in late-1960s California.

The exhibition will include recreations of five large-scale installations by Carlos Cruz-Diez, Lucio Fontana, Julio Le Parc, Helio Oiticica, and Neville D’Almeida. In doing so, its curators aim to present Latin America as a vivid source of new artistic ideas, portraying the artists as inventors who developed prototypes for such California artists as Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, and Robert Irwin.

Suprasensorial will travel to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. this summer.

Find more at MOCA.

Suprasensorial: Experiments in Light, Color, and Space
MOCA, Geffen Contemporary
152 North Central Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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