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Sebastian Buck of Unurth, which is arguably the premiere street art photo blog, has a lot of visual goodies from LA MOCA’s Art in the Streets. He also has some very interesting thoughts on the show, which officially opens tomorrow:

Art in the Streets is a missed opportunity: the show focuses so heavily on graffiti that it ignores so many of the important street artists that have been active in the last 10 years … of the hundreds of artists that have appeared on Unurth, only about 12 are represented in this show (of ~95 total). And the Blu debacle matters; the show is much poorer for his absence, and the spirit that he represents.

Hmm … 12 of 95? That’s roughly 12%. As we already reported only about 10% of the show is comprised of non-American artists and approximately 8% are female, and, of course, there is overlap in all these categories.

So, all this begs the question, what is this show really about?

From the looks of it, it seems like a show of American male graffiti writers, which may have been alright if this exhibition took place in 1991, when there were less women creating art in the streets and street art was much less differentiated from graffiti and less global. But, two decades later this display that trumpeted itself as an exhibition that will “trace the development of graffiti and street art from the 1970s to the global movement it has become today” seems to have fallen short of that original promise.

RELATED: The LA Times is reporting the hell out of the fact that graffiti writers and street artists are hitting the area around MOCA like there’s no tomorrow.

MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch says the institution anticipated that an 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.”

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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 “Unurth: “Art in the Streets” Is a Missed Opportunity”

  1. In 1981, GX Jupitter-Larsen decreed all vacant lots in every city as monuments to entropy. So, Regardless what city you’re in, if you see a vacant lot, you’ll be looking at an untitled readymade sculpture of his.

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