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The Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art has announced the much anticipated appointment of Jeffrey Deitch as its new Director. What is said to be a unanimous vote from MOCA's board of directors, their unconventional choice displays the direction that the financially-troubled museum wants to take: Deitch is a Manhattan heavyweight with a mind for business (from his past at Citibank) and has introduced the high-lifes to the low-lifes of the art world at his SoHo gallery Deitch Projects - a career that is far from the internationally academic and institutionally-grained art museum candidates that could have been chosen. Deitch may lack professional experience in the American museum world, but his assets are what MOCA have their eye on, as art advisor to some of the world's wealthiest art collectors and with his own penchant for a popular Pop aesthetic, Deitch will bring money to the table and he means business. He will retract from all commercial activity - handing over parts of Deitch Projects to his current East coast employees, his role as art consultant to several committees and importantly relocate to Los Angeles with a "relatively modest" housing allowance. Not commenting on a compensation package for his new directorship, it will not be anything like what he has been accustomed to as an art dealer, so is all this sacrifice worth it? Deitch confesses, "... this is what I've always wanted to do". Mr. Deitch, I salute you.
Jeffrey Deitch at MOCA, Los Angeles Times, January 11th, 2010
And if Mr. Deitch needs a little help getting around Los Angeles later in the year, then Phaidon's Wallpaper* City Guide iPhone application can help. With a slide of a finger, a where-to-go, where-to-eat, where-to-stay list of sights and sounds accumulate in a passport of cool. For the wannabe-Deitchs of you, explore the art scene in Berlin and download the City Guide for free here... the world is officially in the palm of your hand.