ART REVIEW: ART IN THE STREETS @ MOCA

April 25th, 2011 | Live reviews

photo by Tumbleweed

On a crowded Saturday night at the opening of MOCA’s Art in the Streets exhibit I made my way in by the only appropriate means for a show grounded in subterfuge and counterculture—by crashing the party with a ragtag collection of artists and musicians. We were greeted by the sounds of the Cold Crush Brothers performing onstage, known for their appearance in the classic hip-hop film Wild Style. I have to admit that upon entering I was concerned by the staid museum display of the forefathers of street art, but the show was impressive when it broke from the historical displays into full scale installations—the strongest of which was a miniature cityscape that came from the “Beautiful Losers” crew including Barry McGee and Stephen Powers—a recreation of an urban landscape complete with McGee’s signature animatronic taggers and a series of decrepit tableaus. Brazilian brothers Os Gemeos had a similarly impressive display that included small houses mounted sideways to the walls near the ceiling, and instruments painted by the duo that were available for crowd interaction, with mixed results. Portions of the show had strong religious overtones, between Banksy’s giant stained glass display patterned with colorful hand styles, chuch pews littered with Tecates (which I only hope were emptied individually by the artists) and a stunning glowing teepee structure from Swoon. The sheer density of the show will keep any fan of street art coming back for multiple visits to this astoundingly comprehensive exhibit.

—Walt Gorecki

MOCA’s Art in the Streets runs from 04.17.11 – 08.08.11 at The Geffen Contemporary. 152 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90013. Visit www.moca.org for more information.