Artwork by Banksy Roel Concepcion/redbullusa.com

Art in the Streets is the first major U.S. museum exhibition on the history of graffiti and street art, featuring the genre’s evolution from the bombing of New York’s subway cars to cholo tagging in the streets of L.A. to the contemporary street art popularized by the likes of Shepard Fairey and Banksy.

Located at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in L.A., Art in the Streets will run from April 17 to August 8, 2011, showcasing installations by 50 of the most dynamic street artists in the world. Artists include Banksy, Fab 5 Freddy, Lee Quiñones, Futura, Swoon, Shepard Fairey, JR, Retna, and Mister Cartoon.

The Grand Opening

Last night was the official grand opening, which featured performances by the stars of the classic hip-hop film Wild Style, including Busy Bee and the Cold Crush Brothers with Grandmaster Caz.

The grand opening also attracted Hollywood’s A-List, where street art enthusiasts rubbed elbows with Adrian Grenier, Jena Malone, Justin Timberlake, Rick Rubin, Seth Rogen, Debi Mazar, and Drew Barrymore.

The popular exhibit of the night came from Banksy, who seemingly had an entire city -- with buildings, billboards and apartments -- as part of his installation, which also featured some of his more famous works on display. It was easy to imagine the never-before-seen artist walking among the crowd virtually unnoticed.

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Other noteworthy installations include the Kenny Scharf mural at the entrance, the classic car painted on by legendary street artist Keith Haring, Mister Cartoon’s ice cream truck, Retna’s awe-inspiring artwork and a couple of mailboxes dripped on by KR.

Detailed photos from the grand opening also feature photography by Hugh Holland, installation about Swoon, and art by IRAK.

“Art in the Streets will be the first exhibition to position the work of the most influential artists to emerge from street culture in the context of contemporary art history,” explained MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch.

The entire exhibit will undoubtedly be a huge attraction in Downtown L.A. throughout the summer. It’s hip-hop to the core and gives street art fans a view into the deep history of the genre that spans decades. Art in the Streets should not be missed.

Art in the Streets is from April 17–August 8, 2011 at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA: 250 SOUTH GRAND AVENUE, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012

Get more from Roel Concepcion and follow him on Twitter: @wordsling.

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