MOCA's Art in The Street gallery was one of the first large scale street art related museum shows ever. It's not a point of debate whether this did or did not bring street art to a much wider audience, it most certainly did. It united the old graffiti artist of the seventies with the new street artists of the last twenty years. It was a big night with many famous artists attending the opening, including but certainly not limited to, L.A. native Shepard Fairey and the ever exciting Mr. Brainwash of Exit Through the Gift Shop fame (but more on that particular Frenchman in a bit).
The opening was a smooth event and aside from one attempted thievery and some protesters regarding the artist Blu's whitewashed mural, the whole thing went on without a hitch. However, there was a certain artist who was not pleased. An obscure street artist named Kidult (or depending on who you ask, a simple tagger and vandal) caught some people in the graffiti community by surprise when he tagged over Mr. Brainwash's mural outside of MOCA. To add insult to injury, he then uploaded it to Vimeo. Check it out.
Although there has always been over-tagging in graffiti, having Kidult make such a public rift says a lot. Kidult's usual M.O. are major stores that he believes have abused graffiti by profiting from it. By hitting the MOCA exhibit, Kidult has condemned it to the same level as that horrible "flower tag" perfume... *shudder*
Kidult's actions have made waves in the community. Some are calling him disrespectful, and dismissing him as a vandal and a tagger—someone who destroys instead of creates. Others, however, side with him saying that the art form is becoming more and more commericial everyday. The former are "purists", whom tend to be the older writers, while the latter are people who encourage street art's transition into galleries (these people are usually younger and mostly don't focus on writing, favoring stencils and stickers).
No matter what you think of him, Kidult is becoming a major voice in the growing purist graffiti movement. I hope it leads to graffiti civil war. I think it would be fun to see Banksy fight off hordes of young American taggers.
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