The guerilla art group from LA makes another appearance at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), but this time, it’s legal. In the early 1970’s, this renegade crowd of local Latino artists, named Asco, vandalized the exterior of the LACMA. Asco, which means “to feel nausea or disgust” in Spanish, spray painted their names on the front of LACMA to represent their “disgust” that there were no Mexican-American artists represented in the museum’s collection at the time. Although the museum staff painted over the damage within hours, Asco had left their mark on LA County. Now, 40 years later, they make another appearance at the museum, but this time they are welcomed with open arms. Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972-1987 is on exhibit at LACMA through December 4th. The exhibition encompasses the group’s career, even including photos from that “fateful” night at LACMA 40 years ago. It is interesting to note how the group’s reputation has changed over time. No longer considered upstarts, they now are part of the collection they once vandalized. With this exhibition, their goal to revolutionize the LACMA’s collecting mission to include Hispanic artists is finally achieved.
Photo and information courtesy of “Renegade Artists Get Museum Retrospective,” Studio 360, accessed September 25, 2011, http://www.studio360.org/2011/sep/23/renegade-artists/.