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Postcards from Travel Near and Far by Jia-Rui

90013, Downtown Los Angeles

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Photos of NYC subway cars

Dear ——–,

I’m wondering why it took so long for an exhibit like Art in the Streets to happen. I guess the people who finance shows at marquee museums for a long time didn’t think of something done for free — and illegally — on walls and tunnels as art. It’s hard to collect. Maybe the tide started turning in the 1980s with Haring and Basquiat. The thing I love about street art is that it makes you laugh (though usually ironically); art has for so long been serious. Banksy, in particular, made some pretty pointed commentaries that were painfully funny — including a recreated frame of the Rodney King beating video with a colorful pinata instead of King. Neck Face‘s piece featured an alleyway full of trash and a fake homeless man. Erika pointed out that this was probably the first time MOCA had trash in the galleries. Some online forums have criticized the museum and the artists featured in it as sell-outs. But I’m guessing these artists are laughing all the way to the bank — they’re getting paid to thumb their nose at authority. The exhibit — definitely worth seeing — runs through Aug. 8.

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Author: postmarkhere

I'm a journalist based in Los Angeles who has always said that writing postcards for a living would be a dream job. The posts -- short enough to fit on an actual postcard -- chronicle recent travels near and far. I could blab on about being inspired by epistolary novels, the short poems of Emily Dickinson, and the New Yorker's "Talk of the Town" pieces, but I'll just say that I'm aiming to give you a sense of flavor of a place without boring you to death. Wish you were here!

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