Jeffrey Deitch to Implement MoCA’s Curatorial Vision

by Paddy Johnson on June 29, 2012 · 22 comments Opinion

Dash Snow and Dan Colen's Hamster Nest

This Paul Schimmel news just keeps getting worse. News broke Wednesday night that L.A. MoCA had fired Schimmel, its chief curator, but no additional details were made public. Now ArtINFO is reporting that they won’t be replacing him. “[MOCA’s] curatorial vision will be implemented by director Jeffrey Deitch, the curatorial team, and guest curators,” a museum representative told ArtINFO.

This scares me. I don’t think Deitch Projects was quite as bad as critics make it out to be, but there’s no denying he has a proclivity for the circus. Entertainment is fine for a commercial space, but the job of curation at a major museum comes with a broader public mission. It should worry everybody that Deitch will be LA MoCA’s defining guardian of art and culture, no matter where you live.


  • Jennifer Chan

    This is all SO WEIRD.

    But…maybe you could guest curate for them? 😀

    • Paddy Johnson

      I’m guessing this post will not ingratiate me!

  • Pablo Mustafa

    Culture itself is doomed… But people like me will do well in this new world

    • Paddy Johnson

      I don’t like the idea that this is a sign of the times.

  • ml242

    Or it could be a better version of deitch without crabby neighbors complaining anytime someone is outside.  But like, only for other rich people.


    Dear New York City, please take your boy back.  We didn’t want him in the first place and we sure as shit look forward to his departure.  Let him fuck up one of your museums.  Thank you. 

    • ml242

       Trade him plus two tacos (for me) in exchange for Klaus Biesenbach and $4 (payable to you). Deitch could only work at P.S.1 though, no MoMa proper. If he refuses this would invalidate the non taco portion of our trade.

      • Paddy Johnson

        Can’t he just go back to running his gallery? Biesenbach is doing a fine job at MoMA. I don’t want to trade him. 


          How many tacos do you want?

          • Paddy Johnson

            I’d like to direct my tacos to Paul Schimmel. You can use them to woo him back. 


        How about NY takes back Deitch and keeps Biesenbach, too? (We need time to both celebrate and re-build and woo back Schimmel.) I get $ 4.50 and you can have four tacos because we need this deal to stick. 

  • Devin Kenny

    I mean, at least it’ll be consistent though right? That is, with a more holistic approach to the institution, there’s bound to be some really interesting changes we’ll witness. I’m still mad that I and like 100,000 people had to wait outside the gates for the A/V show with Santigold though, even though the inner area boxed in by barricades was QUITE spacious. LA as the new home for the gesamtkunstwerk, not just dreamcatchers and multicolored hair, wheatgrass shots, and environmental issues.

  • Mark Nolden

    I found this Artnet article odd when I first read it &, in light of the past two days, disturbing. Particularly the last paragraph…

  • Art

      Billionaires of a particular stripe cannot stomach a cultural category like ‘historical value’ to exist outside of their sphere of commodification, and have the desire and resources to reformat the category of Art to their whims.  In its entirety.  And change the culture to match it.   Apple did it with the album pretty successfully. 

  • Brian Sherwin

    Deitch will end up supporting more of the artists he once represented.  In general… I don’t think former art dealers should have these positions of power within the museum world. 

  • Brian Sherwin

    Hell, even Blek le Rat suggested that he butchered the history of street art…. and yes, Deitch had professional relations with several of the artists chosen for that exhibit.  Art museums, in general, need to stop being used as art market pawns.

  • gregorylent

    unfortunate photo with this article .. stress in 3D, hope that isn’t about deitch

  • Gregg Woolard

    When Deitch did the skatebowl show here in nyc, he got punched by one of the skaters
    at the opening/riot.  Hint-hint….

  • visionair services

    Culture itself is doomed… But people like me will do well in this new world

    very true said bro 

  • Visionair123


  • El Fatom

    Now it’s all right. It’s OK. And you may look the other way.
    Do the Hustle’s Disco Anthem, “Stayin Alive: Bee Gees

    MOCA “Art of the Streets”
    was an exhibit of indulged hubris mixed with ignorance, as it dared
    to assumed itself as the final arbiter of its own unique street art
    perspective to the extreme, it defined its curatorial acts as
    provincial. MOCA’s Curatorial show Art
    of the Streets, which was Directed by the Good Company of Deitch, Rose and Gastman was deceptively
    presented as a labyrinth which didactically lead the audience to Mecca
    in its enlightened realization that its prized exhibit of Banksy,
    Fairey and others were the true genius and champions of great
    Contemporary Street Art.. Its exhibit halls censored one of its
    exhibiting Artist in denying his social political expression, The
    show never discussed its contradiction of exhibiting the censored
    mural its catalogue, or perhaps its conflict of interest, denying
    transparency, it withheld its secretive shame based public apologies
    for infringement. Ever forgetful it omitted and never gave viable
    references, sources or proper credit.
    Months later its prized
    Street Artist Shepard: Phoney” Fairey was later convicted in a NY
    Federal Court of Law for tampering with Federal Evidence.

    Articles were written about the invested holding of Deitch and
    Gastman private collections which just so happen to include the very
    same artist it exhibited while not including other prominent street
    artists like Chaka.. THE PHANTOM STREET ARTIST wrote multiple
    articles, reviews, interviews and preformed in a BUTOH dance party, in
    an effort to spark debate and shed light onto these TABOO topics. The
    Phantom Street Artist with one sentence revealed as a quote… “Their
    attempt to survey a broad historical movement offers us a lens that is
    distorted through acts of censorship as well as by sophomoric omissions
    from both the exhibition’s timelines and its roster of artists. They
    attempt to fabricate fictitious histories of Graffiti’s true logos
    without conveying transparency and integrity, and all the while
    concealing conflicts of interest.”

    Art of the Streets was
    provincial in its Curatorial efforts defined as being limited in
    perspective; narrow and self-centered. How much more can you define
    its given term of being provincial when your collection holds the
    work you exhibit and collect..

  • El Fatom

Previous post:

Next post: