(image via LA MOCA)
“Los Angeles — There is apparently something about institutional street art shows that move museum folk towards declarations of firstness.
In 2008, Street Art at the Tate Modern was announced as “the first major public museum display of Street Art in London,” while just last winter Hugh Davies, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, glowed that he was “really proud” to be “the first (American) museum to do an international street art show of this scale and scope.” Art In The Streets, the latest and of course much buzzed exhibition opening today at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art is billed by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch as — surprise surprise — “the first exhibition to position the work … from street culture in the context of contemporary art history.”
The justification for Deitch and MOCA’s claim turns on the debut establishment of a historical context for this often elusive phenomenon, tracing its roots back to old-schoolers such as Cornbread and Taki 183 as well as Fab 5 Freddy, Kenny Scharf, Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. Art in the Streets takes these godfathers and attempts to unite them with the later-generation players that have risen to fame in the last ten years, figures such as JR, Barry McGee, Shepard Fairey and others.”
Art in the Streets at LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles) opens April 17 and continues till August 8, 2011.