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Good Reviews But Mixed Messages Plague LA MOCA’s ‘Art in the Street’ Exhibition, Artist ‘Space Invader’ Arrested

Despite all of the negative press Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art received after deciding to paint over the mural it had commissioned, it appears that the street art exhibition at the center of it all has finally gotten Jeffrey Deitch, whose exhibition of actor Dennis Hopper‘s photographs last fall didn’t fare so well, his first positive reviews as the still-relatively-new head of the museum. It also landed the museum a few dozen more headaches. While the press likes the exhibition, it has also created some mixed social messages, a la “street art is beautiful and Art-with-an-A when it’s off the street, but more trouble when it’s in its native form.” The LA Times has reported that the launch of the exhibition this past weekend has created a flood of graffiti around the museum, which the MoCA has vowed to clean up. It’s also spawned several arrests of street artists and taggers, most notably, the hunt for and likely capture of French artist Space Invader, who obtained additionally notoriety after appearing in the Oscar-nominated Banksy film, Exit Through the Gift Shop. So it’s a mixed bag from all fronts. We think ArtInfo‘s headline about it all sums it up great: “To Mark Opening of ‘Art in the Street,’ MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch Pledges to Eradicate Actual Street Art.”

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