banksy: art in the streets at MOCA, los angeles banksy: art in the streets at MOCA, los angeles
jul 05, 2011

banksy: art in the streets at MOCA, los angeles

installation view of banksy gallery in ‘art in the streets’ image by brian forrest, courtesy of MOCA

though he was not mentioned in any exhibition preview materials, british artist banksy contributes a room full of work in ‘art in the streets’ at the museum of contemporary art, los angeles. in addition to newer pieces, the banksy gallery features stencils of iconic older works as well as versions of temporary outdoor interventions, allowing greater exposure for those that may have been prematurely removed.

the artist’s ‘surprise appearance’ is an ongoing project, and will shift and change throughout the duration of the show. for instance, though the exhibition opened with a life-sized steamroller and heart-shaped balloon assemblage, it was replaced by an installation of gas-masked, martini-drinking golfers at the time of designboom’s recent visit.

installation view, featuring old and new work as well as outdoor pieces adapted for indoors, such as ‘crayola shooter’ and ‘chalk-lined living room’ at right image by brian forrest, courtesy of MOCA

installation view at opening of ‘art in the streets,’ featuring a life-size steamroller image by brian forrest, courtesy of MOCA

more recent installation view of ‘art in the streets’ featuring gas-masked golfers image © designboom

alternate view image © designboom

‘stained window’ image by brian forrest, courtesy of MOCA

created expressly for ‘art in the streets,’ ‘stained window’ was completed with students from the city of angels public school in los angeles. the artist erected panels in their schoolyard and requested that they be tagged for source material: the resulting boards were placed behind a medieval silhouette, rendering what looks like a stained glass window. the iconoclastic kneeling figure in front draws extra light to the conversion of museum to a church as well as the elevation of graffiti to high art.

‘stained window,’ installation view image by brian forrest, courtesy of MOCA

‘grand terrace’ image © designboom

another newer work, ‘grand terrace’ is a painted version of the rodney king incident, the los angeles police brutality case which was videotaped from a distance. to mark the 20th anniversary of the beating this year, banksy has inserted a colorful pinata in the center of the frame.

‘best in show’ image © designboom

‘best in show’ features a dog found in a southern california taxidermist’s freezer, where it had been left uncollected for seven years. the work displays banksy’s sustained irreverence for the commodification of street art, despite being aware of the impact he has had in the movement’s popularization.

‘best in show’ installation view image © designboom

‘best in show’ detail image © designboom

— ‘art in the streets’ is on display at the geffen contemporary at MOCA, los angeles now until august 8, 2011. for a general overview of the exhibition, see designboom’s previous coverage.

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