Arnold Lehman, 2004, from the America series by Andres Serrano
Artnet’s controversial art critic, Charlie Finch, questions whether Brooklyn Museum director Arnold Lehman “has the balls” to reconsider his cancellation of Jeffrey Deitch’s monumental graffiti exhibition, Art in the Streets, which ended a successful run at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles last week and was supposed to come to Brooklyn in Spring 2012. The wildly popular street art survey broke attendance records at MOCA, while many New Yorker’s saw the Brooklyn venue as a homecoming celebration for a large number of East Coast artists that are credited with starting the movement.
Calling him a “risk-taker” for mounting a major show of street art, the New York Times continued its love affair with Jeffrey Deitch, while the best that the Los Angeles press can muster is complaints about the graffiti brought on by the exhibition. Times contributor Guy Trebay paints an exciting picture of the opening of Art in the Streets at the Museum of Contemporary Art in LA and pulls in quotes about Deitch from mega-collector and MOCA’s founding chairman Eli Broad, who said, “We wanted someone who was, call it what you want, a game-changer,” while stating that what the museum was seeking when they hired him as the new director was “an impresario.”