The upcoming exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD), entitled "Viva La Revolucion," has generated a tremendous amount of dialogue around the idea of street art, and with that dialogue - controversy. This came to a head with Barry McGee's (TWIST) mural across the street from the city hall. Mike Maxwell has been documenting as well as contributing to the explosion of murals showing up on walls across the city, and caught some great footage of McGee's team attacking an enormous wall while under scrutiny.
Although it's a common practice to commission walls for artist murals, and we totally understand the value of MCASD grabbing some walls for these artists, we find it a little ironic that an exhibition specifically about the street art movement includes officially sanctioned walls for artists (especially if the MCASD backs down under local criticism).
The beautiful thing about the museum's exhibition is that while some walls are "official", some are very much unofficial works done by the artists under their own accord. You may be able to take the street artist off the street, but you can't take the street out of the street artist.
We're looking forward to watch this play out over the coming weeks (the exhibition opens to the public on July 18th), and see how MCASD handles ongoing criticism and subsequent education/outreach. One thing is for certain so far: this museum is doing their job by starting dialogue and pushing this city to consider what contemporary art is or should be.