"To keep their doors open, museums like MOCA need to appease powerful donors"
Marc Schiller is a New York-based artist and CEO of Electric Artists, Inc, a digital brand management agency. He and his wife Sara co-founded the Wooster Collective, a website that showcases new artwork and artists.
This discussion about Blu's mural should be a lot more than just a vilification of Jeffrey Deitch and a show of support for Blu. For us, it has more to do with the fact that as time goes on, more and more of our museums fail to live up to the ideals that we have for them. We want, and expect, museums to defend our free speech. We want, and expect, museums to provide a home for provocative thought. We want, and expect, museums to provoke and inspire debate. What we should not want is for museums to be so constrained and commercial that they add very little to the public debate.
The reality is that fewer and fewer museums live up to our ideals. To keep their doors open, museums like MOCA need to appease powerful donors and mount shows that are commercial and bring in the masses. It's becoming rarer and rarer for museums to mount truly provocative shows that challenge us and change the course of our society. Certainly the removal of Blu's wall doesn't signal that the MOCA show will be very daring and provocative.
Our hope is that the final outcome from all of the discussion this month about Blu, Deitch, MOCA and censorship is that it will become a clear catalyst for curators and artists to be even more daring with their work and its message in private shows, knowing now that this cannot be the case in public institutions.”
Photo by Casey Caplowe.
An anonymous L.A. street artist painted this mural depicting MOCA director Jeffrey Deicht dressed as an ayatollah and holding a paint roller with whitewash paint. Behind him is a corner of Blu's mural. Photo posted on Flickr by Joey Z1.
Screenshot of Blu's blog post reacting to the museum's decision to remove the mural.
Screenshot of Blu's blog before beginning the mural. In his characteristically cryptic humour, he posted a sketch depicting MOCA as a giant coffee pot, with a caption in Italian reading: "The first time someone mentioned MOCA, of course I thought of this."