When the New York art dealer was chosen to head L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), the hope was that he would bring much-needed attention and pizzazz. But when Blu, the artist he had commissioned to make a mural on one of MOCA’s buildings—which faces the L.A. Veterans Affairs Hospital—painted a series of coffins covered in dollar bills, Deitch immediately ordered it painted over. Street artists have responded in kind, creating a mural calling Deitch’s “the safest show on Earth.”
“How can L.A. afford to engage in such a complicated development deal as a new football stadium?” asks blogger D.J. Waldie. While Anschutz Entertainment Group CEO Leiweke argues that no public money will be spent, people have their doubts. “For politicians, it’s appealing—sports stadium, NFL team presence for hometown, rah, rah! But who will fill the multimillion-dollar hole?”
It’s a running joke that the L.A. Dodger and former Rihanna flame is the Guy Who Just Hasn’t Lived Up. “He has great ability, but last year the guy went in the tank,” explains Los Angeles Times sports columnist T.J. Simers. But this season, he’s leading the National League in batting average. “Whether you believe he’s going to be a spoiled brat the rest of his life or become a superstar, that’s the great debate.”
His hospitality group, SBE, operates 25 venues, and by next year that number will have increased by another 40 percent. “Some people think he’s raising prices at Hollywood clubs because he sort of has a formula. At the same time, he also makes great restaurants, like his new one, Cleo,” says Dakota Smith, editor of Curbed L.A. “It’s a love-hate thing with him.”
Reported by Annie Ferrer and Jillian Goodman.