From street to museum
Shepard Fairey, Guns and Roses, 2007.
Courtesy of the artist.
From humble beginnings as a defiant, skateboard-obsessed art student pasting homemade stickers, Shepard Fairey has developed into one of the most influential street artists of our time. Despite breaking many of the spoken and unspoken rules of contemporary art and culture, his work is now seen in museums and galleries, as well as the worlds of graphic design and signature apparel. His multi-faceted, open-ended and generous artistic practice actively resists categorization. Building off of precedents set by artists such as Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, Fairey shifts easily between the realms of fine, commercial, and even political art.
Fairey's multi-layered renderings of counter-cultural revolutionaries and rap, punk and rock stars, as well as updated and re-imagined propaganda-style posters, carry his signature graphic style, marked by his frequent use of black, white, and red. Recently, his portrait of Barack Obama, a ubiquitous sight on the campaign trail, drew a new level of attention to the artist's work and was recently acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, for its collection.
Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand now exhibiting at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, and running until 16 August, traces the development of the artist's career, from the earliest Obey imagery through his latest efforts, and includes screen prints, stencils, stickers, rubylith illustrations, collages, and works on wood, metal, and canvas. The artist is also creating a new mural for the ICA and public art works at sites around Boston.
See a slide-show of Shepard Fairey's art-works here.