Shepard Fairey closed out the Saturday of OFFSET last year to one of the biggest crowds we’ve seen in the main stage room. He talked us through the early years of fly-pasting and photocopying in Kinkos to fine art exhibitions and his Obama HOPE poster. A giant (if you’ll pardon the pun) of the street art scene who continued to reinvent his work and message as he transitioned into art world, while still remaining true to a counter-culture, underground sensibilities.
Our blurb from 2012:
“OK, so some of the following might sound like hype but it’s not. We swear. An absurd sticker campaign, which began in Rhode Island , grew into a worldwide underground phenomenon, and then into a widely acclaimed body of fine art – Fairey’s OBEY GIANT graphic has become an icon of DIY counter-culture, punk rock and skateboarding and has changed the way that people see the relationship between art in galleries and street art. Mashing up zine-like imagery, with 1980s wrestler André the Giant and John Carpenter’s They Live, Fairey’s images empower those who refuse to be manipulated by the machine of manufactured consent.
And then he did it again with the Obama HOPE portrait, which might end up being one of the defining visual works of the first half of the 20th century. He’s been at the crest of a street art waves for nearly two decades and the Institute od Contemporary Art (Boston) recently honoured him with a full scale retrospective, which drew a record number of visitors for the museum.”