** warning: photo heavy **
a couple of weeks ago, i went to the “art in the streets” exhibition at the geffen contemporary at the museum of contemporary art (moca) in little tokyo, los angeles. i think the exhibit had already been running for 2 weeks so i was surprised that there was a lengthy line to get in–last time i was here for murakami i don’t think it garnered crowds of this size. interestingly, shepard fairey, one of the street artists exhibiting and famous for obey clothing and his obama campaign posters, was there and showing actor john krasinki, who plays jim halpert on “the office”, around.
i have to admit that although i was looking forward to visiting, the exhibit completely blew me away–it’s the coolest. ever. as much as i’m dying to go to the “savage beauty: alexander mcqueen” exhibit that i won’t shut up about, i doubt that it’ll top this–although they’re very different.
what was so great and cool about the exhibit? well for one thing, there’s just so much to see and it’s pretty big. it was bigger than the murakami exhibit because they opened up another wing. even though i already saw the exhibit, i already knew i wanted to come back another time and look more carefully. there are so many different artists, covering different styles and time periods. it’s really a very fun exhibit because of the nature of street art (art for everyone, in an accessible environment) and there were some installations that were setup in really creative, interactive ways–like the drum kit and guitar set, the skate ramp, and the “manhattan” microcosm. i don’t claim to know anything about street art and i still don’t even know most of the artists that participated but i really enjoyed it nonetheless, and highly recommend it to anyone (yes, anyone!).
it’s funny that i took more photos here during my one-t0-two-hour visit here than i did during my 10-day trip to chicago, new york, and philadelphia.
what also made it really cool was the levi’s film workshop:
this week, i received an invitation to the premiere of outside in: the story of art in the streets, which is a film by alex stapleton in conjuction with the levi’s film workshop about the “art in the streets” exhibition. the premiere was held at the historic egyptian theater in hollywood, followed by a q&a with the director, and an after party deejayed by shepard fairey, himself.
the doors opened at 7 pm, but after leaving work in irvine with my coworker, traffic, and making a pit stop to drop off his car at my house, we didn’t make it there until close to 8 pm, when the screening was supposed to start. i had rsvp-ed ahead of time, but it was first come first serve and there was a long line. and we didn’t get in! but they said that they decided to have a second screening after the first at 9:30 pm if people wanted to come back…but it would be taking place at the same time as the after party.
so i had a dilemma: did i want to watch the screening for which we drove all the way out here for, or did i want to go to the after party with guest dj shepard fairey? hm…i want to do both! as we deliberated over some less-than-savory italian food nearby, i decided to go to the screening in hopes that we could catch the tail end of the after party.
we got back to the theater at around 9:20 and there were some people already lined up; we were toward the front of the line this time. not too long after, people from the premiere were let out and the after party started with shepard fairey at the turn tables. shepard fairey is a talented street artist, enterprising business man, father…and a horrible dj. he was terrible, really. after only 2 songs, we agreed that we had made the right choice to prioritize the screening over the party and that even if the party was still going on after we got out, we wouldn’t stay for long.
i’m really glad we went to the screening. i don’t think it’ll be too accessible elsewhere and we also saw two trailers that were made at the levi’s film workshop prior to outside in. watching outside in made me realize how much there was still left at the exhibit that i hadn’t seen and missed on my first trip and solidified my feelings of what an incredible installation it was. i was definitely motivated to make another trip back. it was pretty short…only about 45 minutes or so with the other 2 short trailers.
here’s the trailer for outside in: the story of art in the streets:
the documentary also showed the street artists’ points of view vs. law enforcement’s. i can see both sides, although i think the punishment is pretty extreme for the crime. i think you can get 7 months of prison or something like that. 2 of the artists that were part of the exhibition were detained and one of them is still serving time.
and it was interesting to hear how big street art is. apparently it’s the largest art movement ever (or since pop art)…that’s huge!
the party was still going on, so we stuck around for a little bit to take a photo and drink some of the complimentary drinks from izze (have i told you that izze rocks?).