|Shepard Fairey - Artistic interlude and stencil scrap|
|Fairey's Public Enemy|
The guy built his fame through an ambitiously prolific street-art campaign of 'OBEY' images, often accompanied by a minimalist print of wrestler Andre the Giant. The image had no broader meaning other than its own ubiquity. It carried the street ethos of expression free from commercial reward. OBEY stickers and stencils were scattered everywhere in the mid 90's, first in every major U.S. city, then Europe, then Japan and Korea - all canvassed by Fairey himself in night-long bombing sessions. I can recall seeing dozens near the CU campus in Boulder in the late 90's and wondering wtf. The wife remembers them from our days in Pittsburgh.
The underground enigma thing he had going rocketed into the mainstream when his later work included the iconic red-blue Obama 'Hope' image during the 2008 election cycle. He now hangs out with comedian Dmitri Martin and Metallica's road manager. Led Zeppelin used his work for the cover art and liner notes of their anniversary best-of album. He collaborates with the Black Keys on their concert tour posters and with street-art king Banksy out of the UK. He submits pieces for Time Magazine covers. He designed graphics for a Discovery Team bike that Lance Armstrong rode in a stage of the Giro d' Italia. And he came to Santa Fe for three days, talked with the art students here on how to make it professionally, then put up a mural in the center of campus for me to visit during my weekend outings.
Best question from Sunday's Q&A session: 'Is Sheena, or isn't she, a punk rocker'? Fairey was wearing a Ramones shirt and rockin' the addidas.
Much more on Fairey and his work at Artsy.net