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Protest At MOCA Over Blu's Mural

Huffington Post     First Posted: 01/04/11 02:51 PM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

The whitewashed wall at the MOCA Geffen Contemporary got a little splash of color last night when artists gathered to protest museum director Jeffrey Deitch. Street and political artists, as well as anti-war activists, staged a "protest performance" against his decision to paint over a controversial anti-war mural. The LA Times reports:

The group of artists -- which included respected Chicano artist/Vietnam War veteran Leo Limon as well as Joey Krebs a.k.a. The Phantom Street Artist -- took turns tagging the museum wall using a handmade laser graffiti gun created for the event by artist/computer programmer Todd Moyer. A specially designed computer program animated the light-graffiti so that it looked like dripping paint as it hit the wall.

Photos by Carol A. Wells, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics and White Wash.

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Artist John Carr, one of the organizers of last night's protest, said this to the Huffington Post:
Jeffrey Deitch's whitewashing of Blu's anti-war mural is a clear cut case of censorship that has angered the arts community in Los Angeles. Antiwar sentiment is not so controversial in the American mainstream when at least 2/3 of the public [are] against the two major wars we are engaged in.

Photo courtesy of White Wash
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Last December, Deitch had commissioned the artist Blu to create a mural on the outside wall of the museum. Due both to miscommunication (artist Shepard Fairey notes that Blu's sketches weren't approved by MOCA staff) and a sensitivity to the nearby Veterans Affairs hospital and war memorial, Deitch made the unpopular decision to paint over Blu's mural. The painting depicted coffins covered in one-dollar bills.