Category: Jeffrey Deitch

'60 Minutes' surveys art market with Eli Broad, Jeffrey Deitch

April 2, 2012 |  7:00 am

  Eli Broad

On Sunday, "60 Minutes" aired a segment surveying the current art-market boom, with Morley Safer reporting from Art Basel Miami Beach.  While the segment didn't offer much in the way of new news, especially for people who follow the contemporary art scene, it featured interviews with three key players of the L.A. art world -- Eli Broad, Jeffrey Deitch and Tim Blum.

Safer's report is a follow-up to his 1993 segment "Yes... but is it art?" The controversial piece questioned whether certain cutting-edge works qualified as art and landed Safer in hot water with some viewers who branded him a philistine.

Sunday's story attempted to examine why the art market has managed to outperform the S&P 500 and defy the current economic recession. Blum, who is the co-owner of the Blum & Poe gallery, described today's art market as the "wild west" and a "bizarre place to do business."

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Jeffrey Deitch to appear on '60 Minutes' on Sunday

March 30, 2012 |  6:00 am

Jeffrey Deitch
Jeffrey Deitch, the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and former art dealer, will appear on CBS' "60 Minutes" this Sunday as part of a segment that looks into the boom in the contemporary art market. But will Deitch appear in his capacity as the head of a nonprofit museum, or as an art-market insider?

Some of both, it seems. Sunday's segment is a follow-up to Morley Safer's 1993 story about the contemporary art scene titled "Yes... But is it art?" In the old segment, Safer questioned whether certain pieces qualified as art. The broadcast turned out to be one of the most "controversial stories in our 44 years on the air," according to the veteran correspondent.

The new segment visits Art Basel in Miami Beach for a look at current art prices and to ask why the art market has managed to outperform the S&P 500 index in recent years.

In a brief excerpt on the "60 Minutes" site, Deitch talks with Safer about the rise in prices of certain artists. He notes that in 1993, a Jeff Koons work was "very well sold at $250,000." These days, a Koons work can command $25 million or more, he said.

Art dealers Larry Gagosian and Tim Blum -- who co-owns the Blum & Poe gallery, located in L.A. -- are also interviewed in the segment. 

Deitch became director of MOCA in 2010. Prior to that, he was owner of Deitch Projects in New York, where he represented a number of prominent and hip young artists. His appointment to a major nonprofit museum was seen as controversial because of his commercial art-world ties.


MOCA exits put spotlight on finances

Jeffrey Deitch welcomes you to his posh L.A. house

MOCA chooses a questionable guest curator for a new exhibition

-- David Ng

Photo: Jeffrey Deitch at the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

Monster Mash: Ovation Award winners; new (old) ending for 'Porgy'

November 15, 2011 |  7:40 am O's: Troubadour Theater Company, Rogue Machine  and "Leap of Faith" were among the  winners at Monday's Ovation Awards ceremony, presented by LA Stage Alliance for excellence during the 2010-11 season. (Los Angeles Times)

Going back: A planned revisionist happy ending in the coming Broadway production of “The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess” has been dropped. (New York Times)

Her turn: Julie Taymor has a few things to say about Bono and the Edge's public comments about her and the pre-overhaul version of "Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark." (Esquire)

Eleventh hour: Chinese officials take issue with the methods by which artist Ai Wei Wei is trying to pay the tax-related fines they say he owes. (The Guardian)

Defections: Prima ballerina Natalia Osipova and principal dancer Ivan Vasiliev are leaving the Bolshoi Ballet to work with the Mikhailovsky Theatre's new artistic director, Nacho Duato. (The Guardian)

Staying put: Only a handful of the exhibitions in the Getty-sponsored Pacific Standard Time initiative of postwar California art will go on to other institutions. (Los Angeles Times)

Music mania: Banda musicians -- Mexican brass bands that play at parties and nightclubs -- are experiencing Southern California's "tuba revolution." (Los Angeles Times)

Mark your 2012 calendars: "Smash," NBC's eagerly awaited series about the birth of a (fictitious) Broadway musical based on the life of Marilyn Monroe, will premiere Feb. 6. (

Singing their praises: Two Americans were among the winners of Abbey Road Studios' international  Anthem Competition. (Abbey Road)

Summing up: LACMA releases attendance figures for its popular "Tim Burton" exhibition, saying it was the fifth most popular show in the museum's history. (Los Angeles Times)

Hanging around: A long-lost Victorian painting by William Powell Frith that hung in a family's New England beach house for half a century could fetch $800,000, Christie's said Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Another take: The nation's Manhattan-based premiere financial newspaper attends the MOCA-Marina Abramovic gala and offers its view of the proceedings. (Wall Street Journal)

Quick change: The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's chief executive resigned abpruptly Monday, with a replacement named the same day. (Pittsburgh Tribune Review)

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Mark Swed reviews the New West Symphony and Rick Ginell reviews of Los Angeles Master Chorale.

-- Kelly Scott and Sherry Stern

Photo: Raul Esparza won a best actor Ovation playing a preacher in "Leap of Faith" at the Ahmanson Theatre. Credit: Craig Schwartz / Center Theatre Group/Associated Press

Countdown to Pacific Standard Time ends with a massive music video

October 3, 2011 |  9:00 am

Pacific Standard Time easily ranks as the biggest collaboration among California museums in history. And its kick-off celebration Sunday night ranks as one of the biggest museum parties in Southern California in recent years. Some 1,500 artists, curators, collectors, dealers and more RSVP'd (the actual numbers are not yet in) for a Getty Center bash directed by the ever-theatrical Ben Bourgeois.

Special effect: a montage of artworks and other images from the time period on display -- 1945 to 1980 -- was projected on the Getty's travertine buildings, set to a soundtrack that changed with the years. An image that flashed of the Woman's Building -- or was it the first notes of Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love"? -- had the crowd cheering.

Themed food: Different stations set up outside the Getty Center took on different decades, with deviled eggs and ham and biscuits at a mock-USO club representing the '40s, root beer floats with paper straws offered by the Soda Shoppe for the '50s, meat and potatoes served up in the '60s, chocolate fondue a favorite of the '70s and hors d'oeuvres with smoked salmon and pesto coming from the '80s. One guest said: "This thing has more themes than a bar mitzvah planner."

Guests Culture Monster were not surprised to see: new Getty President and Chief Executive Jim Cuno and foundation head Deborah Marrow, Hammer Museum Director Annie Philbin, MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch and LACMA Director Michael Govan, as well as local museum patrons such as Lynda and Stewart Resnick.

Guests who made this event feel like a rare occasion: Thomas Campbell, director of the Metropolitan Museum in New York; Light and Space pioneers Robert Irwin and Douglas Wheeler (who were, even rarer, seen talking to each other), and L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who did not make it to the formal press launch last week but appeared by video instead.

Seeing the mayor, and wondering when the art world would see him again, made this writer think about a recent conversation with former L.A. Councilman Joel Wachs, now director of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts in New York. Wachs described Pacific Standard Time as an initiative with the power to reach beyond the art world and perhaps even crack one of the toughest art audiences of all -- politicians.

"I don’t think people in Los Angeles -- decision makers, government officials and others -- fully understand and value what a remarkable creative community they have there," Wachs said. "Los Angeles’ creative community may be its greatest asset. I think this will open up a lot of people’s eyes."


 Pacific Standard Time makes a bid for L.A. in art history

Shining a Light on the Art of Light and Space

Event planner J. Ben Bourgeois creates wow moments

-- Jori Finkel

Photo: The Getty Center served as the location for the kickoff of "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980," and its travertine buildings served as screens for a massive music video that spanned the decades.


Monster Mash: London Philharmonic suspends musicians over Israel flap

September 19, 2011 |  7:45 am


Disciplinary measures: The London Philharmonic Orchestra has suspended four musicians for using its name when they signed a letter calling for the cancellation of a concert by an Israeli orchestra. (The Guardian)

Supporting roles: The cast of the upcoming film adaptation of the musical "Les Misérables" is expected to include Helena Bonham Carter and Geoffrey Rush as the Thénardiers. There are rumors that the movie will be in 3-D. (Broadway World)

Making waves: An artist who once shot a dog as part of an avant-garde project is generating controversy once again after being awarded a public art grant. (San Francisco Chronicle)

Changing times: The Dutch royal family is under pressure to do away with a painting that some see as racist. (Associated Press)

New tenant: The Swiss Institute contemporary arts center is taking over the space occupied by Deitch Projects in New York. (New York Observer)

Ancient site: Politicians and archaeologists are at odds over funding for the restoration and conservation of Pompeii. (The Art Newspaper)

Tedious: Lawyers are combing through e-mails at the Philadelphia Orchestra to determine whether endowment money can be used as part of a bankruptcy settlement. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

To the rescue: The city of Vancouver has approved a bailout plan for the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre and the Museum Of Vancouver. (Globe and Mail)

More money trouble: The Detroit Symphony is still facing debt problems. (Detroit Free Press)

Just add water: Japan's Nissin Foods has opened a museum dedicated to instant noodles in a cup. (Agence France Presse)

Also in the L.A. Times: Music critic Mark Swed reviews "Eugene Onegin" at L.A. Opera, and theater critic Charles McNulty reviews South Coast Repertory's "Pride and Prejudice."

-- David Ng

Photo: Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter at the Screen Actors Guild Awards in January. Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times

Art review: 'Art in the Streets' at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

April 15, 2011 |  4:46 pm


It’s generally not a good idea to censor a mural you commissioned, especially when that mural is part of a show about uncommissioned street art.

When Museum of Contemporary Art director and curator Jeffrey Deitch whitewashed a mural by Italian artist Blu in December, the episode perfectly illustrated how graffiti’s unruly, in-your-face attitude, even when sanitized under the banner of “street art,” might not be a good fit for a museum retrospective. The very idea of the exhibition “Art in the Streets” at the Geffen Contemporary asks whether this erstwhile outlaw culture can or should be folded into the grand narrative of art history.

Despite its first, faltering steps, the exhibition answers this question with a resounding “Yes.” Viewers will encounter a bombastic, near-overwhelming cavalcade of eye candy: colorful swirling murals, immersive installations, walls papered with candid and provocative photos, and a custom-designed skate ramp. Immodestly anticipating the response, there’s even a big “WOW” painted on the inside of the building’s roll down doors. But the exhibition’s strong suit is not its impressive array of large-scale work but rather its art historical treatment of an outsider form, complete with a timeline, “period” rooms, and plenty of video and photographic documentation.

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MOCA's 'Art in the Streets' exhibition brings unwanted neighborhood effect: graffiti vandalism

April 14, 2011 |  4:24 pm


While museum director Jeffrey Deitch was unveiling his "Art in the Streets" exhibition Thursday at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in a preview for invited guests, the Los Angeles Police Department reported a spike in graffiti and vandalism in the museum's Little Toyko neighborhood.

Deitch addressed the media and a crowd that included Shepard Fairey, Fab 5 Freddy and other graffiti and street artists whose works are on display in the expansive survey, which opens to the public Sunday. The press event took place in front of a Metro bus newly painted by RISK, a Los Angeles graffiti artist.

As our sister blog LA Now reports here, the LAPD has noted dozens of tags, including monikers and larger so-called bombs showing up in the last two days on several commercial buildings behind 1st Street as well dumpsters and light poles within a stone's throw of the museum entrance.

LAPD Officer Jack Richter told LA Now, "We respect the rights to have an art exhibition, but we demand the security of other people's property."

Deitch told Culture Monster that MOCA anticipated that what's being billed as the first major U.S. museum exhibition on graffiti and street art could bring unwanted and unauthorized ancillary activity from "some of the young taggers who are anarchic. ... It's a language of youth culture, and we can't stop it. It goes with the territory."

But in hopes of minimizing the impact on neighbors, he said, "we're making an extra effort" by instructing security guards patrolling outside the museum to keep an eye on the surrounding neighborhood as well. Deitch declined to give specifics on what that would entail.

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Veteran New York graffiti writer Lee Quinones leads artists (not including Blu) in painting mural on Geffen

April 8, 2011 |  9:00 am


The north wall of MOCA's Geffen Contemporary, the site of an antiwar mural by the Italian artist Blu that the museum had quickly and controversially whitewashed late last year, is getting a new look.

New York graffiti legend Lee Quinones has organized a team of street artists to do a new mural on the exterior wall facing Temple Street. Scaffolding is up now, with a couple of images in progress, and work is expected to be completed next week, before the April 17 opening of the “Art in the Streets” exhibition at the Geffen.

“I could have done this wall on my own, and I haven’t really collaborated with other artists like this before,” Quinones said, reached on site Thursday afternoon with cans of spray paint near his feet and paint flecks covering his clothes and face. “But for me to do it alone might have been a diss to Blu."

"So I’ve put together a contingent of cats that is very talented and diverse. And we’re willing to have a conversation with the public about the wall’s history.”

Quinones says Blu declined his invitation to participate as the "core" artist in making the new mural. The artists who are participating include Cern One and Futura 2000 of New York; Sano, Risk and Push from L.A.; and Loomit from Munich, Germany. (Quinones says Swoon might also participate, but only after finishing her artwork inside the museum.)

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Ex-colleague of Jeffrey Deitch to curate art show coinciding with his big MOCA moment

April 7, 2011 |  8:45 am

Show Jeffrey Deitch’s first big initiative as director of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art is “Art in the Streets,” which opens April 17 at the Geffen Contemporary, billed as “the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the history of graffiti and street art.”

Turns out that a former colleague from his previous life as an art dealer is curating a gallery show in Culver City that's timed to coincide with her old boss' doings in downtown L.A. Kathy Grayson, who was gallery director for Deitch Projects, the New York City art business that Deitch liquidated so he could accept the MOCA job, has organized “Facemaker,” a show about contemporary artists’ conceptions of the human face, which opens April 14 at Royal/T, a 10,000-square-foot venue that features an art space, store and Japanese-themed cafe. 

The show’s announcement says the focus is on art that “challenges our assumptions and makes us consider the face in new ways.”  It aims to have its own street-art dimension, and the announcement promises a substantial overlap with figures whose work is included in “Art in the Streets.” Among the artists in the show at Royal/T are Shepard Fairey, Takashi Murakami, Barry McGee and Kenny Scharf. The title piece (pictured), by L.A.-based Ben Jones, is a large-screen video installation of shifting faces.

Along with Meghan Coleman, a former Deitch Projects colleague, curator Grayson is proprietor of the Hole, a Manhattan gallery launched last June, just as their ex-boss began at MOCA. They started it as a home for some of the artists who had been represented by Deitch Projects, naming it to suggest that his 3,000-mile jump had left a hole behind.


DeitchIllustrationbyWes Blu says MOCA's removal of his mural amounts to censorship

Critic's notebook: MOCA's complicated choice of a new director

Jeffrey Deitch on to another art adventure at MOCA

-- Mike Boehm

Photo: Screen shot from Ben Jones' video artwork "Facemaker." Credit: Courtesy of the Hole (NYC).

Jeffrey Deitch bringing fashion house Rodarte to MOCA Pacific Design Center

January 11, 2011 |  7:00 am

Rodarte2 When Jeffrey Deitch took the reins of MOCA last year, he expressed a desire to reenergize the museum's satellite space at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood. In June, he staged a James Franco/"General Hospital" event at the PDC, which brought out the TV cameras and quite a few Franco fans. Now, Deitch is bringing the über-cool house of Rodarte to the PDC in what is expected to be a fusion of art and fashion.

Rodarte, founded by sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy, is a fashion line whose expressive, sometimes ethereal creations frequently find their way onto the lithe bodies of celebrities during award shows and other red-carpet events.  "Rodarte: States of Matter," scheduled to run March 4 to June 5 at the PDC, will be the company's first West Coast solo exhibition.

The Museum of Contemporary Art said the exhibition will feature pieces from Rodarte’s spring 2010, fall 2010 and fall 2008 runway collections, plus original ballet costumes that the Mulleavys designed for the movie "Black Swan." The museum expects the show to feature about 25 pieces, which will be installed as a series of "interrelated conceptual vignettes," both static and in motion.

Rodarte was the subject of an exhibition at the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York, titled "Quicktake: Rodarte" that ran in early 2010.

In an interview from her downtown L.A. office, Laura Mulleavy said that they received a call last year from Deitch, who had attended one of their shows, asking if they would be interested in doing an exhibition at MOCA. The sisters ultimately sat down with Deitch last summer just as he was assuming his new job at the museum.

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