<body> Public Ad Campaign: MoMA Severs Ties with HappyCorp
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Monday, March 2, 2009

MoMA Severs Ties with HappyCorp

A recent post by The Gothamist explains MoMA's final word on the whole PosterBoy alteration of the Atlantic/Pacific project. What I couldn't understand was why MoMA would speak so clearly against the vandalism when to do so would destroy their credibility with those who thought the stunt was interesting. It seems they are receiving a lot of pressure from the MTA and CBS outdoor. If this was the reason they were firing HappyCorp, I thought it a little sheepish of them. Researching more, I read a comment regarding PosterBoy's work on that station and I think it explains why MoMA might not have been game for such fun. It holds up quite well and is reproduced here.

By MisterSparkle on 02/24/2009 at 7:17pm

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that MoMA is involved in this, even if they are denying it. More to the point, though, I don't really understand the intentions of whoever actually vandalized the ads (be it a member of the Poster Boy movement or somebody else).

To a certain degree, I can understand vandalizing ads for large corporations, consumer products and the like in the name of both art and anarchy. But the MoMA ads seem to be largely unobstructed, unadulterated prints of some of their best art work. While I do take issue with MoMA's high admission prices, I respect their fundamental role as a cultural institution and their attempts to draw more visitors to the museum. Therefore, I see no reason to destroy MoMA ads that a) consist of already great artwork and b) have a generally admirable goal (promoting modern art and generating new patrons), especially if the ads will be replaced shortly at MoMA's expense.

To me, this is the height of snarky, holier-than-though post-modern derisiveness because it attacks the very art that gave way to the validation of subversive street art. If the person responsible was working with MoMA, I would be impressed by MoMA's awareness and hope that they might leave the ads as-is or do more work with street/graffiti art in their marketing. If the person was Poster Boy or some other adherent/imitator, he or she clearly has no respect for the art that gave rise to theirs and no sense of purpose and integrity.

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