“Art in the Streets,” the groundbreaking graffiti exhibition at MOCA, drew crowds, police concern and spray-can artists from around the world. Some seemed to think that the arrest of at least one of the exhibitors, Revok, was the authorities' official reaction to the controversial show.
One thing's for sure: It broke records.
According to a MOCA statement released late Wednesday the show …
… attracted 201,352 visitors from April 17-August 8, 2011, marking the highest exhibition attendance in the museum's history. Previous attendance records were set with the museum's presentations of Andy Warhol Retrospective (2002) and MURAKAMI (2007), which welcomed 195,000 and 149,323 visitors, respectively. With this exhibition, MOCA expects to double its annual attendance this year to 400,000 visitors.
It's true. “Art in the Streets,” which wrapped up this week at MOCA's Geffen Contemporary in Little Tokyo, seemed to find that sweet spot comprised of art aficionados, hipsters and hip-hop fans.
You had Facebook friends who wouldn't know art from an aardvark coming out of the woodwork to gush about “Art in the Streets.”
New MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch wasted no time taking credit:
It is my mission to increase MOCA's attendance and to engage new audiences. Art in the Streets reflected a wide array of creative disciplines and local communities, and these record-breaking attendance figures go a long way to doubling the museum's attendance this year.
So, in your face, graffiti and/or Deitch haters.