Blu’s Commissioned Mural Censored by LA’s MOCA

Mural by Blu

Italian street artist Blu, who also happens to be one of my favorite contemporary animators, was commissioned by LA’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to paint a mural on one of the museum’s walls. The mural, which depicted wooden caskets draped with dollar bills, proved to be too contemporary for the museum and they whitewashed it (literally!) less than 24 hours after it was completed.

Los Angeles Downtown News offered details about the situation:

[Blu] was on the scene as a crew began to paint over the work, and he was not pleased, said Daniel Lahoda, a street art advocate who curates the L.A. Freewalls Project and was in Little Tokyo to document the whitewashing. “He was here this morning, taking pictures,” Lahoda said. “He was [angry].”

MOCA has provided just about the lamest response imaginable: “Directly in front the north wall is the Go For Broke monument, which commemorates the heroic roles of Japanese American soldiers, who served in Europe and the Pacific during World War II, and opposite the wall is the LA Veterans’ Affairs Hospital. The museum’s director explained to Blu that in this context, where MOCA is a guest among this historic Japanese American community, the work was inappropriate.”

Unurth, a street art blog, tore into that rationale, writing that, “This is a terrible explanation. The concept that street art and graffiti must be ‘appropriate’, to the point of not making political statements, is absurd and contrary to the history of the medium.”

The most embarrassing aspect of this is that MOCA is opening a show next Spring about street art. Too bad it’s now going to be viewed as a joke by many of the artists it was supposed to be celebrating and promoting.

Here’s a video of Blu’s painting being whitewashed:


  • http://mrscriblam.tumblr.com/ mrscriblam

    it always saddens me to see good street art disappear.

  • David Breneman

    What is this mural supposed to mean, anyway? Maybe because I don’t understand what the message is, I don’t find the museum’s reasoning “lame” at all. A, pardon the expression, “cartoonish” depiction of coffins in the vicinity of a war memorial and a veterans’ hospital seems like something that might well be considered offensive. (And, “lame” is an interesting word to pick when describing something that might offend disabled veterans.)

    • amid

      David – In US military funerals, a soldier’s coffin is draped in the US flag. The mural makes the point that most soldiers in the US are consigned to their deaths to support an even more powerful flag, which is all green. Whether or not you agree with the point that Blu is making, the message is clear and thought-provoking. Putting it across from a VA location makes it that much more powerful by exposing the hypocrisy of unnecessarily exploiting American soldiers to danger and then “caring” for them afterwards.

      • David Breneman

        Thank you for explaining it, Amid. I know all about military funerals (in which the flag covers the entire coffin including the sides). But the message isn’t at all clear, nor is it particularly thought-provoking. It’s the kind of pseudo-ironic “Wow! That’s deep!” style of rhetoric we’ve been treated to since Viet Nam. No wonder I didn’t get the message – it was too sophomoric.

      • Mr. Raven

        Why is it that the conservative “soldiers died for our freedoms,” crowd is the first one to squelch our actual freedoms like freedom of speech?

        You conservatives only like freedom in the abstract as a neat little concept, and not in it’s messy actualization in the real world.

        Sigh!

    • claire

      Are all the americans idiots, or just most of them?

  • http://www.bobharper.net Bob Harper

    WTF? Did MOCA have no idea what he was going to do before he did it? He must be so blindingly fast at painting those detailed caskets, that nobody at the museum could’ve spotted one and made an issue of it before he painstakingly finished the rest of them.

    MOCA = LAME

  • Heather

    I don’t think the MOCA’s response was lame at all. Seems like a pretty good reason to me…

    • Daniel

      Art isn’t made to always be agreeable. MOCA’s response is shortsighted and self destructive in the way that they decided to police themselves and and whatever message being conveyed before actually awaiting a response from the public. They assumed a backlash without evidence.

      Despite whoever’s feelings toward the art piece is, this is the very definition of repression which has no place in art. It is purely a decision made out of fear for an institution that supposedly praises the fearlessness of the participants housed in their establishment.

      Many Veteran’s agree with the sentiments depicted in the mural and just as many don’t. The point is that the art was to bring about discussion. Discussions, though at times volatile, often bring society to a better understanding or at least an acknowledgement that there IS a problem to be faced. This may as well have been an ostrich sticking it’s head in the sand in the face of a hungry lion. It only pretends there is no issue and allows it to continue unchallenged.

      A major portion of art we see being praised in museums were just as, if not more inflammatory that this mural is now than in their day. The museum engaging in the EXACT behavior they seek to protect their pieces from, shows in incredible lack of historical context and self consciousness that is rather appalling and just as upsetting as the message it sought to hide. It’s foolishness, plain and simple.

      The problem is, we as a society are trying to think for each other and police each other’s thoughts without even consulting the individuals we THINK we are protecting.

      The replies supporting this act assume a black and white standard by which anyone with any real context of the spectrum of human emotion, psychology and just going outside every once in a while and talking to people who don’t already agree with you can tell you is only ego-projecting. You cannot assume a person with PTSD will somehow be traumatized further beyond what they have already experienced or if they actually empathize with the statement presented. We are not X-men. You want to feel sorry for people you don’t know, have never met and who may feel just as upset at the censorship as the artist.

      The quality of the work is also irrelevant and is a way to undermine and ignore the issue without actually engaging it using critical thought.

      • http://los-utopicos.blogspot.com allari

        It´s visual impact is quite tame compared to the standars of international editorial cartoons.

  • Specs

    The museum did the right thing. Having veterans, many of whom have PTSD, staring out the window all day at a painting of caskets? Not cool at all.

    Granted, they should have stopped him before he finished the entire thing. But still, it’s a tasteless painting, and it has no business anywhere near a VA hospital.

    • Mr. Critic

      And pro-life protesters belong nowhere near Abortion clinics and should stay inside churches, preaching only to the choir << sarcasm

      If blu saved his political commentary for someplace more "tasteful" it would be neither political nor commentary.

      Not that I like the mural, as a supporter of the US military and good drawing. The painting is unappealing from an aesthetic point of view.

      • Whippersnapper

        Please tell me you’re not pro-life. And if you are, please tell me you’re not a man.

        And regarding this argument, I’m divided. I agree that the artist should have freedom of expression, but at the same time I believe the artist should’ve been more considerate of the traumatized veterans across the street. I also think the museum shouldn’t have waited until the mural was FINISHED before whitewashing it, since the artist can never get those hours of work back.

      • Mr. Critic

        My politics regarding abortion and sex are not the issue. The analogy is.

        I agree the artist could have more sensitivity. And I don’t see this as a free speech issue as MOCA is a privately owned building.

        I do disagree with the idea that this was not the place to make such a statement because of the proximity to Veterans.

        The proximity is precisely why pro-lifers protest outside abortion clinics and why this image was painted at this location.

        Had MOCA been located next to several banks, I’m willing to bet big that blu would have created a very different image. Or maybe even the same one.

      • Specs

        Had this mural been painted next to a bank, I wouldn’t have had an issue with it. In general, people who work at banks probably aren’t going to have a psychological reaction to an image dealing with mass death and betrayal, because it’s not likely they would have experienced those things.

        Veterans HAVE experienced those things, and many of them are haunted by it for the rest of their lives. Having a mural like this near a VA hospital is unnecessarily harsh to people who have done nothing to deserve it. The artist is basically saying “Hey army dudes, you were used and thrown away by the military, and now I’m going to make sure you think about it every single time you look out the window! Ha ha, losers!”

        Cruelty doesn’t make a political statement better. The statement made by the mural is fine, this just isn’t the right place to put it.

      • Chris

        I think the issue is that Blu’s concept is targeting victims of the system rather than the system itself. The message would have been much more appropriate facing a military recruitment center or a government office, not where folks who were disabled and abused by the system have to face it. Who wants to be reminded that you got your arms and face blown off for no righteous reason? What good is that going to do? This stupid and naive first attempt to make a bold political art statement that fails to address the right side of the issue. I for one will not miss it.

  • Toonio

    Ideas are bullet (& paint) proof.

  • Griminy

    It seems like a fair representation of why a lot of young Americans end up in boxes, and if it was close to a war memorial, so much the better. MOCA simply “wallpapered” over a truth.

  • artiebilkmore

    Seems to me kinda strange that he didn’t get approval for his proposed mural before he started on it…is that the way things work today? Seems like a huge waste of time and energy…but then the free publicity might be worth it for everyone involved? Just sayin’…but what do I know…I’ve only done about three of them…and I had to get approval before I started on any of them.

  • Karl Hungus

    By all measures, it was a tasteless and senselessly antagonizing image to put across from a veterans association. How this isn’t understood by the “street art community” doesn’t really concern me.

    What’s next for the street art community? Putting a mural of Ike Turner across from a batterred women’s shelter? How about some Nazi like imagery across from a Holocaust memorial museum. Whatever imagery makes a solemn just cause think that their efforts haven’t accomplished anything. I went to art school, and even way back then they taught us to recognize cheap, simple, trains of thought like this mural. There’s nothing profound or noteworthy about it at all.

    • amid

      Karl Hungus – Don’t speak for everybody. It’s not tasteless “by all measures,” only by your own. And for all your grandstanding for the VA, they never complained about it:

      A representative for the Veterans Administration said that management at the facility was aware of the mural, but did not complain to MOCA…A spokeswoman for the National Go For Broke Education Center said that some of the veterans found the mural “in bad taste,” but the organization did not complain to MOCA either.

      • Karl Hungus

        How’s this:
        By all measures, it is not a good mural. The coffins are poorly drawn, the compositions is simplistic and static and the color palette is that of a four year old. Amid, if you can’t extend one iota of consideration for those who clearly would be offended by this, then maybe you can come to the realization that the mural flat out sucks, and you are looking past that fact because you are so excited about the controversy surrounding it.

        The (obvious) message is clear here – Blu is suggesting that soldiers died for money instead of their country. Its called ‘kicking men and women who served for you and me when they are down’. Its a cheap and vindictive attack more than a message. There is no grandstanding about that. The message is quite obvious whether the VA complained about it or not.

        Its sad that when the contemporary art world has such a drought of real talent, we have people rallying around this sad excuse of a mural. What style is it in after all? Naive art? Outsider art? What a convenient explanation for the lack of skill evident in its drawings.

        MOCA made a mistake. They commissioned a mural from a “street art community” whose ranks are filled with charlatans and phonies.

      • Ryoku

        Does style really matter? But the art was mediocre as it looks like wall paper with the same images repeated throughout. I couldn’t even figure out those were dollars and coffins until I looked close enough and even then the message I got was just some anti-capitalist stuff.

    • Karl Hungus

      But besides all that, help me understand the message that was ruined here.
      We want soldiers, who have been wounded in conflict, to see that there is corruption behind the scenes that they could very well be suffering from?

      Why don’t we put this mural near an AIDS hospital? There is clearly corruption behind the scenes in the availability of AIDS medicines, so somehow people dying of AIDS shouldn’t be offended by this mural either right? I’m betting no gay community would let you put this mural across from an institution that houses AIDS patients – and everyone would be okay with that.

      Its the soft message here that the soldier is the bad guy that is offensive.

      • Scarabim

        Or worse, that the soldier is a dupe and a pawn for evil money-grubbing capitalists.

        Which is pretty much how members of a certain political belief system actually see members of the military, unfortunately.

      • Marie

        I think it’s clear, Karl and Scarabim, if you look at American history that our wars have been fought for a variety of reasons, one of which is to protect our economic interests.

        I’m baffled that you see an attack on soldiers from a mural of caskets. I would suggest another point of view: some of us don’t want our soldiers dying to protect the economic interests of primarily privileged people.

        I do agree, however, that the art looked amateurish and the location could be considered insensitive by some. I personally don’t believe that art should offend to make its point. When you turn people off, you’re not engaging them.

        You get more in life with honey than with vinegar.

  • victoria

    message aside the whole was ugly, badly drawn and alot of the caskets were out of perspective.

  • A dude

    I agree it was a poor location for the artwork.

    However the “solution” puts MOCA in the unenviable position of destroying art. An art museum that destroys art?

    Seriously, is any artist going to trust them with their work?

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Well they sure painted themselves into a corner didn’t they? ^_^

  • james suhr

    If the museum was say LACMA, or even a more National museum, it could understandable about the reaction to the painting. These museums house works of past thought–and controversy is safe as you’ve gone through it, not during. But a modern art museum is in (or at least should know that it is in) the business of showcasing current voices, regardless of whether it is all bright and cheerful, or is a voice of decent. Are we seriously allowing ourselves to get so scared fundamental politics and backlash that art museums are getting afraid of speaking out, less they risk of possibly attracting bad attention and losing funding? Are we as people getting so herded like cattle that we are only allowed to talk if everyone can agree what the individual says is allowable? We are not strong as country if we don’t challenge our ideals. All we are doing is brainwashing ourselves into believing we are better than we actually are.

  • Mike Russo

    Not like he can’t just paint it again somewhere else.

  • Jay Sabicer

    Well, let’s get to a matter of greater importance: did he get paid?
    This circumstance may actually benefit Blu more than imagined. Left untouched, the mural would get some initial press of outraged parties (take your pick), then it would be eventually ignored and ultimately repainted, when MOCA decided the wall would be better used to show off their latest museum logo. By having the mural documented, and then erased, he has just gain oodles of street cred as a ‘Bad Boy’ artist. Expect his price to go up for future projects.
    Blame can be spread to everyone involved: MOCA should’ve known better, Blu should’ve had a little more tact and the LAPD, since they’re overdue in being blamed for something.
    It would have been classic if the ‘whitewash’ was actually a misunderstanding and was a victim of LA’s very prompt anti-graffiti program.

  • http://www.mukpuddy.blogspot.com Mukpuddy

    That is quite unbelievable, for a supposed “contemporary” gallery to be so precious about it, I hate it when people are offended on behalf of somebody.

    Did the veterans actually come out and say they didn’t like it? Plus from my point of view the piece carries an anti-war message any ways, you’d think the veterans would be happy with that!

    • jic

      I’m not a veteran, but I would personally be surprised if many of them were pleased by this piece’s simplistic, sophomoric ‘they died for the Almighty Dollar’ message.

      • John A

        Well, I am a veteran, and I’m not at all offended by the mural. Most of us understand the sentiments behind the image. Also, this may surprise Scarabim, but I happen to be a proud liberal. When I swore to protect The Constitution of the United States,I swore to protect free speech, especially political speech.

  • Johnathan 1

    Of course the museum is using a corporate double-speak ruse. But it is sophomoric on all sides. Even Family Guy made deeper comments about the hypocrisy of the Gulf War in a few verbal asides. Max Beckman made “similar” points in his drawings and art during his particular war, but it was artistically MCUH more than repeating one rather poorly thought-through image, and one can look at them today and still think further than a one-note point. When the website Memory Hole fought to get and publish the pictures of american caskets coming back from the Gulf War that Bush refused to let us see, I think THAT was a deeper work, and yes, in a way, a form of representation if not art per say.

    To be more to the point – I find it infantile that “street art” needs the museum STILL after at least a few decades, to “justify” its creds to begin with. Suck it up if you are “street art” you don’t need an invitation, at least not the old school graffiti later “street art” (such a dumb name, are other artists “interior canvas artists” – who comes up with this soundbyte stuff). Artists have used the side of Museums before and said more than that. Maybe “street artists” should do some more reading about the “art” part of their name?

    As for the museum, seriously, what did you expect, this museum went broke and practically had to close, is “owned” in the biggest sense of the word since so many years. You expect some “cutting-edge” from them — why? What proof have you of it? This is exactly repeating the American dilemma of culture – the writings of Matthew Arnold all over again. We have a rich, great, cutting edge voice in popular culture, the so-called “low” who always feels there must be some reason to get to the pompous, out of date bastions of so-called “high” culture, the museums. PLEASE. I’d rather get something on adult swim any day than to please that board and advisors in the MOCA — and for sure, the curators would be pleased as hell to have the work seen on that channel then again presented in their showrooms as a matter of “proof” or something they are museums.
    I’m starting to think Banksy is interesting — that’s how bad this is.

  • FC

    As a veteran with the US Army I did find this a little disheartening and offensive. Not for nothing, I appreciate the fact that artist’s use their skills to send out messages and to provoke thought.
    But for this particular piece I have plenty of buddies that most definitely would not appreciate it. Anti-war messages are one thing but caskets with dollar bills placed on it says nothing more then rub in the fact that most military soldiers are lower class Americans and serve with the military at serious risk of there lives to support themselves and there families. IT IS A TRADE OFF WE MADE, YOU DON’T HAVE TO LIKE IT BUT PLEASE APPRECIATE IT OR RESPECT IT. Who said life was fair.

    This kind of message does not need to be rubbed in our faces. We all understand the situation with the current war we have going on.

  • Darío

    It’s easy to talk but when you are the head of MOCA or any other museum, etc., I wonder if you would still think the same way.

    The art though I like it very much, but I’m just saying that I don’t think I wouldn’t do the same with the painting, after all we all know that American society is very conservative and you just can’t imagine how much pressure you could get when you just say what you think about this matter (the current presence of the US abroad and the foreign policy).

  • http://2dwannabe.blogspot.com robcat2075

    I think the repainting and the knowledge that there is a mural under there makes it all the “deeper” an artistic statement. It’s like Art on top of Art. And what was under the mural? Who’s statement got “censored” by the caskets?

    The perfect irony would be if it cost them more to hire that union painter to whitewash it over than it cost to hire the artist to do it in the first place.

    I’d be curious to know more about the commissioning process.

    Who knew it was going to be dollars on caskets and when did they know it? And what does a mural like that cost?

  • Dave

    I’m just gonna quote a guy I knew who was a veteran of the first Gulf War because after I read this article, his words sort of popped in my head. He was a pretty right-wing type of guy when I knew him; pro-war, anti-gun control, etc. He was going to a community college at the time, taking a political science class and mentioned something about his classmates disapproval of the current war in Iraq. I asked him if their remarks irritated him as a veteran and he replied:

    “Well yeah, a little but that’s not the point, man. The fact that they’re allowed to say shit like that is what makes this country great.”

    Reading about censorship like this, it’s appalling, but more than anything I’m just left feeling disappointed.

  • Tony C

    If that hadn’t been removed, I’d question the management.

    I question the artist for being so utterly stupid as to take the time to finish the thing whilst genuinely believing it would have a chance of staying up.

    Not like it was saying anything new anyway.

  • pat

    Too bad this mural isn’t more defensible for being interesting, beautiful or truthful. It seems somewhat amateurish on all of those levels.

    Too bad an art museum shot itself in the foot by approving and then erasing art. It seems somewhat amateurish of them to do that instead of raising it’s (fairly reasonable) objections before.

    I guess it’s hard to make a grand sweeping statement a 12-year old could think of at billboard size, and not make a mess with fuzzy unstated guidelines about what’s acceptable or good in public places. Does anybody win here? Does it even matter very much? It seems like the participants are a bigger deal than the work was.

  • Eric

    Whatever the story is on either side the mural is just plain ugly.

  • The Gee

    I’ve read through most of the comments and I hope I’m not being redudant. However, I did not watch the video. So, I hope that isn’t important and is just about it being painted over. And, I ain’t writing this for chits and grins. My opinion’s on the process not the message and I’ll keep my jokeyness to a minimum.

    1) The artist was commissioned to paint a mural. I’m guessing he was brought on for his body of work and is somehow a known commodity. If he didn’t need to do some sort of comp or pre-production version to show them, that’s too bad. If he did and the museum approved it then whoever made the call should have considered the consequences then.

    I know a couple of people who get hired to do murals. They are not street artists, though one of them might be considered edgy an in that vein. From what I understand, they generally do a smaller piece to show prior to beginning the work.

    If that wasn’t done simply because the artist wouldn’t normally do that or share that…well, he should’ve upped his game there for the client. Just because it would have been proper to give them a heads up. I don’t care how much attitude you have, if you are trying to stir the pot and do so through normal channels (being commissioned for a public display of art) then you have to do certain steps to make sure it works out for the best.

    2) On censorship…I’m sure the dictionary might define it differently…and if it does, oh well.
    The way I look at it only a government can be said to censor something; the Freedom of Speech is about the government not being able to censor. They can’t oppress us like that. However, If I tell someone to shut up and they do, I’m not censoring them, they just stopped yakking.

    You all will call it that anyway so I won’t argue why you consider it censorship. I guess I’d look at is as a client rejecting and tearing up an original in my face.

    3)Segueing off of that aspect: most likely the VA did NOT make noise precisely because it is a part of the government. It is prohibited from telling someone to shut up. And, thank God for that. Otherwise we wouldn’t know what whistleblowers say about things within the government about bad things which go on there. But, I digress….

    4) Don’t try drawing or painting something you can’t do a good job on. If anything, find a different way of representing it so the finished piece looks good. The artist might be used to that position but he was in over his head (ha. obligatory word play.)

    If I had painted that the way that looked, I would cringe every time I saw it. The artist should always be their worst critic. (well, they should be their Harshest critic. I’ll leave it to critics to compete for the title of Worst.)

    5)The message.. I get why it caused this controversy. I get the situation and what he seems to be saying.
    But, right now, since the mural is gone, all that’s left is just a story. Don’t get worked up too much. I don’t know what to say other than don’t misplace anger onto this story. There’s harsher stories out there with consequences which matter more.

  • http://kambodiahotel.blogspot.com BR Inle

    It’s MOCA’s wall, they can do what they want with it. They can commission a stupid mural on it, and they can stupidly whitewash it, too (elevating some mediocre art to a somewhat interesting debacle in the process.)

    • jic

      Exactly. If there’s a scandal here it’s not ‘censorship’, but that MOCA wasted their donors’ money and made themselves look like a bunch of idiots. The right to free speech is not a right to publication.

  • Gummo

    1. People on this thread who presumes to speak for all veterans are making fools of themselves. I have friends who are veterans, some who look at that mural and say, Hell, yeah!, while others would shrug at the message and say, yeah, tell me something I didn’t know already. Veterans are not a monolithic group and some of them are the most militant anticapitalist peaceniks I know precisely because they’ve been in the belly of the beast.

    2. When did we as a society become such a pearl-clutching collection of church ladies? If our primary criterion for art becomes whether someone somewhere has their feelings hurt, the only “artist” left working will be Thomas Kinkade.

    3. Aesthetically, that really is an amateurish looking mural, badly drawn and the message was stale in 1970.

    4. The museum really does have the right to do whatever it wants with its own walls.

    • http://www.goodaboy.com Rajesh

      Thomas Kinkade’s work offends me.

  • http://ulandblog.blogspot.com Uland

    Isn’t the point of “street art” that it’s done beyond the realm of any given institutions’ power to effect it? It seems like BLU put himself in this position…I’m sure he got paid…

  • Ed Lipschitz

    While it may be an artist’s right to depict whatever he wants in the name of art, it’s not as if those who may be offended or hurt by what’s being depicted can simply turn the page, leave the room or turn it off. This is huge and in your face and unnecessarily inappropriate to the venue. Intentionally being tasteless and offensive in the name of art has little to do with art and more to do with being tasteless and offensive. As a piece of work that’s tasteless, inconsiderate and offensive, this is a huge success. As a piece of art this is crap. The whitewash is a vast improvement.

    • amid

      Arguing that the artist’s intent was to be tasteless and offensive simply because you don’t agree with the point he’s making is a misguided notion. “Tasteless” and “offensive” are subjective opinions, and many viewers most assuredly do not hold your views.

      PS: Please use a real email in the future per our commenting guidelines. If you’re going to come onto our site and call something crap, at least have the decency to respect our forum.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    Everyone commenting here to the effect of “BLU’s artwork was tasteless” or “This is offensive to the veterans” is making the precise same mistake as MOCA. That is; imposing your own reactive/parenting responses on the nearby veterans, who you seem to be casting as helpless vulnerable children with underdeveloped minds and uniformly agreed politic. Who is to say that many of them might not have loved the mural, given the chance? Might even have felt comforted that a younger generation understood something that holds deep with them?
    Or maybe not.
    We’ll never know.
    Thankfully we’ve got all you guys to tell us what they would have thought of it. They must be very grateful.

  • http://www.spiteyourface.com Tony Mines

    Also. The mural isn’t unaesthetic or amateurish. It’s called Naive (there’s something of a centuries old context for it you could maybe look into) and is wholly appropriate to the efficiency of the message. The use of repetition and pattern in relation to the subject and the dimensions of the canvass is also considered, as is the clear colour scheme and the juxtaposition of simple clear forms with detailed textural finishes.
    Back to school, kids.

  • jic

    Of course, claiming that a piece is “Naive” is always a great cover for ugly, amateurish art…

  • JG

    This is why museums and art have nothing in common anymore.

    Considering how important expression and confrontation is in modern-to-contemporary art, how contemporary art is preocupated with facing social themes and given the fact that censorship is the complete antithesis of art and artistic expression – this incident will have very serious and long-lasting effects on MOCA’s reputation. Their display of values may go away with little media attention, but the fine art field – the artists, critics and collectors – will never forget it…

  • Rick

    I got censored yesterday, based on this definition. (Hint: “censorship” is when the government does it. Otherwise, it’s just a retraction or they changed their mind based on public opinion, which runs counter to the “artist’s” concept.)

    I will say again, MOCA gets taxpayer funding. This kinda of “art” should be privately sponsored.

  • Steven

    Yeah, Daniel LaHoda’s comments are credible. Sure. See the first link on this page:

    http://www.lapdonline.org/Crime_Alerts_and_Latest_Stolen_Art

    Regardless, the mural was insensitive. Not sure if the Moca actually approved what was going to be painted. That’s usually part of the process with any scope of work.

    Either way I fault both the artist and the Moca for this mess. Could have been managed a bit tighter.

  • Alissa

    Regardless of the message, couldn’t the mural have been painted with a little more care? I’ve seen murals painted by high school volunteers done with more skill.

    Call me a philistine, but if someone is making a statement that they know is going to irritate people, shouldn’t they at least make it look decent?

  • http://MrFun'sBlog Floyd Norman

    I wonder how many fanboys and girls on this site have actually served in the military?

    I’m also a veteran, and as I look at this mural all I can think of is, what else is new?

  • Eric

    I think the issue was with the monetary amount and that it should have been $100,000 bills draped over the caskets.