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Ari Emanuel Joins MOCA Board: Still No Artists At The Museum

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In a move that seems designed to enrage critics, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles will add a Hollywood uber-agent and a denim impresario to its board. The addition of Ari Emanuel and Maurice Marciano, which was announced today in a press release, means the museum still has no actual artists sitting on its board.

Emanuel may be best known to the public as the inspiration for Ari Gold, the fast-talking, amoral talent agent who brokered deals on the HBO series "Entourage." He is also the brother of Chicago mayor and former White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel. As Co-Chief Executive at the influential William Morris Talent Agency, Emanuel is certainly one of Hollywood's elite. In the art world though, he's green -- known neither as a collector nor an insider. In defending the appointment, the release focuses on Emanuel's role in developing MOCAtv, an original YouTube channel devoted to contemporary art, which the museum launched in collaboration with Google this week.

Marciano, co-founder of Guess Inc., is an avid collector and donor to the museum, as well as a returning board member. His tenure on the MOCA board was interrupted by a departure in 2008, which he took "as the museum’s finances worsened," according to the New York Times.

An absence of artists has been the strange case for MOCA's board since this summer, when the entirety of those who once sat on the board -- John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger, Catherine Opie, and Ed Ruscha -- fled in quick succession, fed up with the pop culture direction espoused by the museum's controversial director Jeffrey Deitch.

What do you think, readers? Is this a good move for the museum or not?

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