Back in my high school days, between scribbling TAKTIX on local bridges and hunting for obscure walls over run by vegetation I daydreamed about a giant gallery with all the graffiti greats gathering to gorge on the masses. ‘Art in the Streets’ is that show, just as I knew it would be. So with a playlist that combined 90’s b-boy classics and curent hybrid sounds, blackbook in hand, camera round the neck and Metro tokens in my pocket I made my way downtown. If I was going to get a proper soak in the awe of my peers I had to do this one alone. Walking to the The Geffen I noticed the closer I got the less art I saw in the actual streets. I hate to say it’s ironic, but well… it is. LA’s a dangerous place to be a writer/graf-head/street artist right now. A specialized task force is rounding up anyone they can in the war on art, REVOK being the latest to become a POW. They’re anxious to catch you down by the MOCA, God forbid you’re out in the world creating illegal art when you could be inside turning your brain cells to corn syrup in front of your PS3.
The concept of a street art and graffiti show at a major art gallery like the MOCA carries the same stigma as the Time Square show back in the days of ‘Style War’, maybe that’s a good sign that we’ve held tight to our roots. I’ll admit for the first time, seeing it done at this scale does force me to see the dark side of ‘mainstream’ attention. The scrupulous order of writers were bound to see this and judge this, how were the chosen purveyors of our voice going to ‘keep it real’? The MOCA did bring a slight sour taste of a Natural History museum to the exhibit but over look the storm clouds of the concept of the show in general and pay attention to the impressive and surprising work of the artists that were chosen (and I say surprising even as someone who knew what to expect). QUESTION: Why was security watching me like I was Cap?