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Just when you thought this story may be dead, Italian street artist Blu, whose mural was whitewashed by MOCA last week, has shot back at Jeffrey Deitch’s brush-this-all-under-the-rug mentality with a fiery statement he emailed to the LA Times:

It is censorship that almost turned into self-censorship when they asked me to openly agree with their decision to erase the wall. In Soviet Union they were calling it ‘self-criticism.’

Deitch invited me to paint another mural over the one he erased, and I will not do that.

How will the art world react to the fact that a major museum director, and not some museum bureaucrat (as in the case of the Smithsonian’s Wojnarowicz censorship) has actively censored a prominent artist? I can’t imagine with anything short of outrage.

I contacted the LA MOCA’s press department 15 minutes ago, and they said there is no official response to Blu’s statement, but they will let us know when there is.

Animal New York has responses from Ron English, Faile and other prominent street artists who aren’t happy with MOCA and Deitch either.

One thing is for sure, this issue is NOT going away any time soon.

Also read LA Times art critic Christopher Knight on what Deitch’s MOCA did wrong and how MOCA avoided similar problems in the past with equally political artists.

Original image: Blu’s MOCA mural being whitewashed (via Unurth, image by Casey Caplowe, and used with permission)

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

2 replies on “Blu Says Deitch/MOCA Censored Him”

  1. Well, hows this… stop going to LA MOCA. Artists should stop showing there. Collectors should stop donating there. Gallerists and artists should stop selling to the institution. As long as you support the institution and support Deitch you are supporting censorship of art.

  2. The art world speculators and the Wall Street speculators are cut from the same cloth. Both worlds resemble racketeering enterprises. Both markets revolve around mercantile speculators who like to inflate the prices of objects in order to make money. They trade between themselves in order to artificially increase the perceived value of particular artworks they’ve invested in. They make money, not wealth. Wealth involves value. There is no real value in money. It’s all poker to them.

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