The director of a financially troubled downtown museum is promising to bring in a younger, more diverse audience with a “game-changer” show on tattoos. “I think this has the potential for being the biggest show we’ve ever done here.”
No, that’s not who you think it is talking, it’s Greg Kimura, director of the Japanese American National Museum since April. Richard Guzman, in the Los Angeles Downtown News, has a profile. (At left: the work of Little Tokyo’s Mr. Cartoon.)
Kimura’s rhetoric sounds a bit like Jeffrey Deitch’s. He leads a respected museum with cash-flow issues, and he figures that the programming that made the museum respected isn’t popular enough. Kimura intends to draw coveted demographics in the belief that money will follow (somehow). A show on the L.A. Dodgers in the works. The connection to JANM’s mission is, well, that some of the Dodgers are Japanese-American. Ironically, Kimura is also talking about having more shows of cutting-edge contemporary art. Maybe he and Deitch need to confer what does and doesn’t spike the box office.
For what it’s worth, I’d bet that more 25-year-olds are interested in tattoos than disco.