Though Jeffrey Deitch spent much of his tenure as director of MOCA fending off criticism, which ultimately led to his resignation last week, few would argue against the fact that he brought a fresh perspective and innovative ideas to the Los Angeles art institution. And now a new video directed by Jesse Dylan, a filmmaker and founder of Wondros production company (and, yes, the son of Bob), sees Deitch discussing his art philosophy, the threads of which could be found both in his now-closed SoHo gallery, Deitch Projects, and, of course, in the shows produced during his time at MOCA. The curator talks about the first time he connected with art ("I was twelve years old and I remember being struck by a Fernand Léger lithograph and it just spoke to me"), reflects on the importance of art history, and describes what he values in a work of art ("I'm always looking for art that engages life, that connects to people. Artists who redefine what an artist can be."). He also addresses the controversy behind his leadership at MOCA and defends the more pop-focused exhibits produced during his reign, including the museum's (ultimately wildly successful) 2011 survey of graffiti and street art. Though he may be out at MOCA, watching this video has us excited for what Deitch will be up to next.
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