Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

MOCA paints over commissioned artwork, calls it 'insensitive'

Moca Street art is fugitive by nature — and vulnerable to being destroyed by angry shopkeepers who just don't appreciate the creativity. But in the strange case of a massive antiwar mural that made a brief appearance downtown last week, it was the Museum of Contemporary Art that both commissioned and removed the work.

The mural, by the Italian street artist known as Blu, had a strong antiwar and anticapitalist bent. It featured a field of military-style coffins draped by large dollar bills instead of flags.

The museum originally commissioned the piece for the north wall of the Geffen Contemporary as part of its "Art in the Streets" exhibition, set to open in April. Last week, upon the mural's completion, the museum had a crew whitewash it.

Several art bloggers denounced the museum's act as censorship, comparing it to the recent removal of David Wojnarowicz's "A Fire in My Belly" video from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.

Daniel Lahoda, founder of LA Freewalls Project downtown and one of the few people to photograph the work as it was being removed, said that the street art community is "really upset by this — everyone is talking about it."

Read the full story here.


3 men killed on train tracks in Commerce

El Camino Real High School expected to become charter

Grandmother killed by stray gunfire at family Christmas party

-- Jori Finkel

Photo: MOCA had commissioned an Italian artist know as Blu to do a mural on the north wall of the Geffen Contemporary, only to paint over the work before it was officially unveiled because of its political content. Photo shows painters at work covering the mural. Credit: Casey Caplowe

Comments () | Archives (26)

As an artist, I am appalled at the lack of "courage" MOCA has to make a statement. Art is THE visual communication. What are the thinking. Hmmm....maybe all art should be nice and happy - like shiny happy people. Very sad.

« | 1 2


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...


About L.A. Now
L.A. Now is the Los Angeles Times’ breaking news section for Southern California. It is produced by more than 80 reporters and editors in The Times’ Metro section, reporting from the paper’s downtown Los Angeles headquarters as well as bureaus in Costa Mesa, Long Beach, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Ventura and West Los Angeles.
Have a story tip for L.A. Now?
Please send to newstips@latimes.com
Can I call someone with news?
Yes. The city desk number is (213) 237-7847.


Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: