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Blu's MOCA Mural Erased; Who's to Blame?

Jeffery Deitch was meant to bring street art to MOCA. So why was the mural he commissioned from Blu painted over after only one day?

When Jeffrey Deitch was named Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, critics hailed it as sea change for the art world. As the first private gallery owner to run an American museum, and with his famous connection to the world of street art, Deitch was expected to bring a new life to MOCA. Meant to formally announce his arrival and set to open in Spring 2011, his massive "Art in the Streets" exhibition aspires to survey a history of street art from the 1970s to today.

In preparation, Deitch commissioned a piece from the artist Blu, painted directly on one wall of the museum. On Wednesday, December 8, the artist created his mural: a series of giant coffins wrapped in dollar bills.

But as of midday Thursday, December 9, it's already been painted over.

GOOD reached out to MOCA to ask why the mural was so swiftly covered up, but so far, no one from media relations has responded to calls.

So what gives? Was the mural too politically charged for other members of the MOCA team? What would that mean for Deitch's purported sea change? If a blanket anti-war (or anti-death industry?) statement is too controversial for MOCA, what can we look forward to this spring?

UPDATE: In few comments, readers have pointed out that it might be part of a performance or publicity stunt. That's certainly a little plausible—it got our attention, anyway. What do you think?

Photos by Casey Caplowe

Thanks, Sebastian!

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