The Brooklyn Museum directors who turned down hosting “Art in the Streets” this year must be shaking with frustration.
Turns out, the exhibition has brought a record-breaking number of people to the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In fact, “Art in the Streets” is officially the most-attended exhibit that the museum has ever seen. A total of 201,352 visitors came by to see the show at the museum’s Geffen Contemporary space in Little Tokyo, with over 32,000 people in the last week alone.
However, all news, as usual, must be taken with a grain of salt. While the exhibition was a real hit, the “breaking-records” part of things may be due to some other factors. For example, the second most-attended show was the 2002 Andy Warhol retrospective with 195,000 visitors, but that exhibition was available for viewing for only 12 weeks, while “Art in the Streets” was available for 16. Little things like that go a long way, and based on just 12 weeks, the Warhol exhibit would win.
Either way, the event, spearheaded by MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, definitely says a lot about the growing interest in and appreciation for graffiti and street art in today’s society. It featured artists like Shepard Fairey, Kevin Scharf, Swoon, and Barry McGee.
In fact, the symbiotic relationship between street art and society has gotten to the point where even “notorious street artists” are giving back. It seems that one of the biggest factors in increased attendance was a little help from Banksy, another artist featured in the show. The British artist donated a ton of money to the museum to sponsor “Free Mondays” for visitors. This sponsorship brought a little over 4,000 people to the museum every week.
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