Protestors have been continuing their campaign against the director of the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art over his decision to whitewash a mural by Blu. Jeffrey Deitch commissioned the Italian street artist to paint the north wall of the Geffen building as part of MOCA’s 2011 ‘Art in the Streets‘ exhibition that is due to open in April and will feature works by more than 25 artists including Banksy and Shepard Fairey.
RIP: Blu’s mural at MOCA
Blu’s mural depicted several giant military coffins with dollar bills wrapped around them like flags. However before Blu could complete the work, Deitch ordered it to be erased.
Blu’s mural being deleted
Deitch told the LA Times that the anti-war sentiment of the artwork had become controversial as the wall was facing the Go For Broke monument commemorating Japanese American soldiers. He said: “This is 100% about my effort to be a good, responsible, respectful neighbour in this historic community. Out of respect for someone who is suffering from lung cancer, you don’t sit in front of them and start chain smoking.”
Video protest at MOCA using laser graffiti
A group of campaigners, who are angry at Deitch’s decision to censor the mural, has formed a collective called L.A. Raw. The group, along with a crew of graffiti artists and a handful of war veterans, got together to stage a guerrilla protest outside the building they’ve renamed as the “Museum of Censored Art”, using lasers to project messages such as “Dump Deitch”, and “Give us back our walls!”
At a recent forum at the Fowler Museum entitled “How Does Street Art Humanize Cities?”, L.A. Raw also passed out Deitch-themed condoms to attendees. The collective is also planning a a “Funeral Procession for Freedom of Expression” that will take place tomorrow at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
What do you think? Is this ridiculous censorship or could the artwork be offensive? You can see more artworks by Blu painted in Buenos Aires in the new book Textura Dos: Buenos Aires Street Art