Graffiti Vandalism Follows 'Art in the Streets' Show at MOCA in Little Tokyo

An 'Art in the Streets'-inspired mural downtown?
An 'Art in the Streets'-inspired mural downtown?
Jacqueline Chang

Police have received complaints from downtown dwellers about an increase in vandalism they think is related to MOCA's upcoming "Art in the Streets" show at the Geffen Contemporary.

It's not clear to us if residents and business owners have a problem with some of the clearly related murals that have gone up in the area or some of the tagging that has followed. But either way, it's all illegal, the LAPD's Jack Richter tells the Weekly.

Come again?

Yeah, even a mural that's going up on the actual Geffen in Little Tokyo would be verboten under city rules.

Art in the Streets at MOCA.
Art in the Streets at MOCA.
Edition One Hundred

"From what I am aware of there's a ban on murals anywhere in the city," the officer told us.

Now enforcement is a different matter. Building and Safety would be the primary cops for illicit murals.

Richter thinks that the complaints that police have received center around actual graffiti and tagging.

"Several commercial businesses in Little Tokyo were tagged last night," he said. "I haven't seen any complaints about any of the murals, including the mural going up on MOCA right now."

He says MOCA is helping with tagging clean up.

The show celebrates international street art and has attracted some of the globe's top artists as both participants (including Banksy) and observers.

It opens this weekend but an artist's opening was scheduled tonight.

Richter said cops were gearing up for a confluence of art lovers as the monthly Art Walk and the 'Art in the Streets' folks hit downtown tonight.


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