A museum centered on Art + Education + Social Justice through the lens of Africa + the diaspora

Do The Right Thing: 30th Anniversary Exhibition

Curated by:
Spike Lee, David Lee, Kayinde Harris, Jason Lampkin (40 Acres and a Mule)
Amy Andrieux + Run P. (MoCADA)

Featuring Exclusive Photos by:
David Lee

Dates: May 24 –  July 28, 2019
Location: Central +  External Galleries @ 80 Hanson Place

Made possible thanks to the generous gifts made by 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks, the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs and NYS Council on the Arts.

Opening Reception: Friday, May 24 | 8-11 PM  

Additional Events: (standby for updates!)
Artist Talk
Block Party
30th Anniversary Screening


Celebrate Academy-Award winning Director Spike Lee through the lens of his third film, Do The Right Thing. First released June 30th, 1989, this iconic film explores the Black community of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn as it bubbles with racial tension on the hottest day of the year. Through the lives of numerous characters, we journey through gentrification to police brutality, themes that are as culturally and politically relevant today as they were 30 years ago….



David Lee, a proud born and bred Brooklynite, has been photographing from the age of 12 or so. He received a B.A. from Yale in 1983 with a concentration in photography and graphic design and worked early on as a photo-intern and photojournalist for the
Village Voice. His first film with Spike was Joe’s Bed-Stuy Barbershop (1983). Since then, David has documented over 40 of Spike’s projects, both full-length and short-form, from Malcolm X to the Miles “Tutu” video.

David has notched over 80 film credits, working with directors including Jim Jarmusch, Denzel Washington, Michel Gondry, Ridley Scott, Malcolm Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Robert Dinero, Lee Daniels, and Angieszka Holland. In addition to his career in movies, David has also maintained a life-long dedication to his art photography. He has worked with organizations such as BAM, Union Settlement and Donald Byrd Dance Company. A partial list of spaces where his work has shown includes The Museum of the City of New York, Aperture’s Burden Gallery, the Brooklyn Historical Society, and The Academy Award’s Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study.

David thanks Amy at MoCADA and Jason and Kayinde at 40 Acres for all the hard work they put into putting this exhibit together. And of course, he thanks Spike most of all. David states that it’s been a special privilege to be both witness and chronicler of a great artist’s expanding life’s work.


Use MoCADA’s tour notes as your guide through the exhibit, which includes a deeper dive into our themes, the artists’ notes and bios, as well as a glossary for greater understanding of the exhibit’s subject matter. DOWNLOAD the Do The Right Thing tour notes (pdf).


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