Banksy sponsors free admission to MOCA's 'Art in the Streets' on Mondays
The British street artist known as Banksy likes to stay under the radar in terms of public exposure, eluding the press and generally shunning the spotlight. Lately however, the anonymous artist has been gradually creeping out of the shadows, sort of.
Banksy directed the hit pseudo-documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop," which was released last year and earned the artist an Oscar nomination. This summer, he is teaming with L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art to provide free admission to its blockbuster street-art exhibition on Mondays.
Banksy is sponsoring free Monday admission for all visitors to the museum's Geffen Contemporary space in Little Tokyo for the duration of the exhibition "Art in the Streets," running through Aug. 8. The show highlights the history of street and graffiti art and features works by Banksy, Shepard Fairey and other genre notables.
MOCA even provided a quote from Banksy himself: "I don’t think you should have to pay to look at graffiti. You should only pay if you want to get rid of it."
"Art in the Streets" has been met with controversy since its inception. MOCA was criticized for removing a commissioned outdoor mural by the street artist Blu. In addition, local officials have reported an increase in graffiti and tagging in the neighborhood surrounding the Geffen.
MOCA reports that the exhibition has been a success with visitors, saying that it has drawn record attendance. The exhibition will travel to the Brooklyn Museum in 2012.
— David Ng
Photo (top): "Stained Window" by Banksy and dozens of students from City of Angels School, in the MOCA exhibition "Art in the Streets." Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times.
Photo (bottom): Banksy in his documentary "Exit Through the Gift Shop." Credit: Paranoid Pictures.