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'Art in the Streets' sets record for MOCA, sort of

August 10, 2011 |  5:09 pm

Artinthestreets

"Art in the Streets" has proved to be a certifiable popular hit for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. MOCA said the exhibition about the history of graffiti and street art was the most attended show in its history -- but closer inspection shows that the record comes with a caveat.

MOCA said Wednesday that "Art in the Streets" saw attendance of 201,352 visitors during its run from April 17 to Aug. 8. The exhibition was held at the museum's Geffen Contemporary space in Little Tokyo.

The museum said its previous top-attended exhibitions were the 2002 Andy Warhol retrospective with 195,000 visitors, and the 2007 Takashi Murakami show with 149,323 visitors.

But the comparison between shows can be misleading since "Art in the Street" ran for more weeks than the Warhol show -- about 16 weeks versus 12 weeks, respectively. If the shows were compared based on just 12 weeks, the Warhol exhibition appears to be the winner.

Daily average attendance for "Art in the Streets" was 2,486, and in the final week, the show brought in 32,278 visitors, according to MOCA. Attendance was given a boost by free Mondays sponsored by the artist Banksy, drawing an average 4,083 visitors each Monday, said the museum.

"Art in the Streets," spearheaded by MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, featured creations by notable artists including Banksy, Shepard Fairey, Swoon, Barry McGee, Retna, Kenny Scharf, Space Invader and many more. The exhibition drew criticism from some who contended that it attracted illegal taggers to the neighborhood surrounding the museum.

RELATED:

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Banksy sponsors free Monday admission to MOCA's 'Art in the Streets'

MOCA's 'Art in the Streets' gets the big picture wrong

-- David Ng

Photo: Visitors at "Art in the Streets" at the Geffen Contemporary. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times


 
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