The Outdoor Art Series “Building Art” Debuts on March 28, 2022
LOS ANGELES—The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) will launch Building Art, a series of outdoor artworks created for the facade of the museum, featuring work by leading contemporary artists. Beginning March 28, 2022, MOCA will present Sonic Boom by artist Derek Fordjour on the exterior of the MOCA Grand Avenue building. Future plans and artist collaborations for Building Art outdoor artworks will be announced.
“MOCA is committed to supporting the art, artists, and audiences of our time. While mounting exhibitions of great acclaim within our walls, we wish to address a larger public often and with intention,” said The Maurice Marciano Director of MOCA Johanna Burton. “Using our facade as a canvas provides the opportunity to work with artists interested in such civic address.”
Artist Derek Fordjour worked with MOCA to develop his concept for the artwork, engaging with museum staff to select the featured work. Measuring more than 5,400 square feet, Sonic Boom features drum majors and majorettes in syncopated arrangements. Based on one of the artist’s most iconic series of paintings, these figures honor the Historically Black College and University (HBCU) marching band experience and symbolize the daily performance of Blackness itself. Sonic Boom takes its title from the Jackson State University marching band, known as the “Sonic Boom of the South.”
“I’m delighted to share my work so prominently in partnership with MOCA,” said artist Derek Fordjour. “I look forward to the many unspoken moments of connection that will now happen along Grand Avenue. Hopefully my work becomes an open invitation to people who might not otherwise attend the museum.”
Mindful of climate impact and in keeping with the sustainability mission of MOCA’s Environmental Council, which was formed in October of 2020, the materials of the work will be removed and reused by the artist in future projects with MOCA’s support.
“Recycling is one of the most significant actions we can all take to lower our impact on the planet’s resources. Reusing the materials in this exhibit is a thoughtful and important way to lower its carbon footprint,” said MOCA Environmental Council Advisor and former Environmental Protection Agency Chief Lisa P. Jackson.
Building Art continues MOCA’s commitment to outdoor art, following collaborations with artists Jonas Wood (2016-2018) and Njideka Akunyili Crosby (2018-2019) who previously wrapped the MOCA Grand Avenue building in artwork, and Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Questions), installed in 2018 on the facade of The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
Derek Fordjour (b. 1974, Memphis, USA) is a painter who depicts the codes, regalia, and structures of competition and play, revealing passion and discipline—as well as style—as steps toward uplift. Attuned to the power and spectacle of display, the artist is also a maker of objects and installations as standalone scenes and as staging devices for his paintings. Fordjour’s work is held in public collections including the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Perez Art Museum, the Dallas Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. He lives and works in New York City.
This project by Derek Fordjour is generously supported by an anonymous donor.