Brian Addison’s Long Beach Post article on the Museum of Latin American Art starts out sounding like a replay of MOCA’s troubles—and then keeps getting weirder.
“Interestingly enough, despite rave reviews and respect in both the critical and academic worlds of art, [dismissed curator Cecilia Fajardo-Hill's] exhibitions were strangely unattended compared to some of the more simple, straight-forward exhibitions—ultimately leading to the question of what the museum’s role to the public is.
“And like many other major museums—the Getty, LACMA, and, most recently, MOCA—MOLAA must reexamine itself. It is, after all, not a CIFO or a Broad Foundation, organizations which, while they open their doors to the public, ultimately have no interest in popular approval. Rather, these organizations strictly and entirely gear themselves towards artistic integrity. And MOLAA, as [spokesperson Susan] Golden pointed out, cannot play on that field …
“We’re not the Hammer, we’re not the Broad,” explained Golden. “We can’t just say, ‘Oh well,’ when the public doesn’t respond to our exhibitions—a luxury these other institutions have.
“Following a grant from the Irvine Foundation to do marketing research, MOLAA discovered an intriguing bit of fact: regardless of what curators like, regardless of what is “important,” the public has a desire to see a certain type of art at MOLAA—and that certain type of art happens to be figurative and colorful.
“While as an institution, we don’t want to be promoting erroneous stereotypes about Latin-America and Latin-American Art,” said Golden, “the fact of the matter is that one has to pay attention to what the public wants.”