Catherine Opie on Why She Quit the L.A. MOCA Board

Catherine Opie. (Courtesy

Catherine Opie. (Courtesy

The Los Angeles Times ran a profile over the weekend of artist Catherine Opie, who has a show of photographs at L.A.’s Regen Projects opening in February. The most interesting bit is her explanation of why she resigned from the artist board at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles last summer along with John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Ed Ruscha, amidst the departure of the museum’s curator Paul Schimmel.

“The big one for me was not just John [Baldessari] stepping down first — that was a big red flag — but I had just given them a portfolio to sell to save a person’s job in education,” she says. “And it equaled about $150,000, and literally the next day they let that person go.

“I can’t imagine any board member writing a check for $150,000 and having them turn around and let that person whose program you’re supporting go. That to me was very insulting,” she says.

Ms. Opie continued, explaining that she didn’t feel like she had a voice at the museum. She told the Times, “I actually want to participate in having real ideas and real feelings about what a place like MOCA means to this community.”