Fives years is forever in the life of a piece of NYC Street Art, but Shepard Fairey’s Obey Lotus Flower Stencil, which first went up at the end of June in 2011, is still loud and proud on the southern façade of 213 Bowery, at the corner of Rivington. I passed by it over the weekend and it looks darn good for its age.
Here’s a view of that corner from the traffic island in the middle of Bowery. And doesn’t This look familiar?
Pace Prints is currently hosting an exhibition of new print editions by Shepard Fairey, running concurrently with Shepard Fairey: On Our Hands at Jacob Lewis Gallery, the artist’s first solo exhibition of paintings in New York City in five years.
In his new series of prints on handmade paper, Fairey takes on the issue of corporate influence in government and the resulting inaction toward environmental concerns by the powers that be.
In Enjoy Paradise, a 3-color relief print, what at first appears to be an advertisement for a relaxing beach getaway quickly reveals itself to be a bleak landscape where the water flows like an oil slick, and towers loom forebodingly in the background.
In his signature black, cream and red color palette, Fairey combines imagery and text in a tongue-in-cheek manner to speak about serious economic and political issues. Paint it Black, pays homage to the history of rock and roll, using Russian constructivist-inspired graphics to depict a hazardous paint can of “Oil Based Policy,” jutting out into the viewers’ space.
Although, as you can see by the above photos, there was a good deal of breathing room on the 3rd floor during the show’s opening reception, it was a different story on the 4th flo0r, where Fairey was present and signing for fans as well as posing for photos. He is very friendly and accommodating.
Here is the artist being mobbed by fans.
The exhibit also contains some cool sculptures, all of which carry the strong message against the USA‘s “War for Oil” policy. It is very sobering.
Eagle Pearching on a Fist-Enclosed Gas Pump
Detail from Above Sculpture
These exhibits are definitely Must See Art for Shepard Fairey Fans!
Shepard Fairey’s Prints and Paintings will be on Exhibit Through October 17th, 2015 at Pace Prints (on the third floor) and through October 24th at Jacob Lewis Gallery (on the fourth floor) at 521 West 26th Street.
Oh, there is just so much to say about this Obey Mozart poster, which I spotted on Bowery near Spring Streetover the weekend. First of all, the poster was not designed by artist Shepard Fairey, although it was sanctioned by him. The design is a knock off of the poster you see below:
This Obey Thoven (Beethoven) poster was designed by New York Ad Agency Eyeball for classical radio station WQXR’s Beethoven Appreciation Month, which runs throughout November 2013. Oh, the cleverness!
Thanks to Geoffrey’s incredible talent for scheduling an evening that includes multiple events located across town from each other, we were able to make an extended pit stop at Pace Prints for the opening night of Shepard’s Fairey’s amazing new exhibit, Harmony and Discord, wedged between attending a Kehinde Wiley opening on 29th Street and a lovely evening seeing Brendon Benson perform at the Bowery Ballroom. Timing!
Shepard Fairey is one of my favorite contemporary artists and this latest exhibit is the most exciting collection of his work that I’ve seen so far. Fairey created the works for Harmony and Discord in the Pace Editions studios in New York, which provided him with the opportunity to scale the work to a larger size, so the exhibit includes the largest screen prints he has done to date. If you are familiar with Shepard Fairey’s work you know that he started out as a street artist, creating the global “Obey” sticker campaign and continued his politically-themed art (Fairy’s best-known work is the iconic and much-copied Obama Hope poster) as he moved from the street into the galleries of New York, Los Angeles and Europe.
On view in Harmony & Discord are a number of silkscreens done with collage and spray paint, as well as handmade paper (his first works with this medium), embossment and relief prints, and large metal plates with screen print. Relating to the surfaces of his street work, the hand painted multiple (HPM) works in this series have backgrounds of stenciled pulp, collage, screen print and embossment, allowing the image to pop off of its vintage, layered surface. The Pace Prints exhibition also marks the first time Fairey is presenting metal relief plates as art pieces, layered with silkscreen, furthering spatial extent within the work. The metal plates are so finely detailed, and these were definitely my favorite pieces in the exhibit. You have to see them up close to appreciate how beautiful they are. I also really liked the pieces that were heavily influenced by the Comic Book Art motif of the late pop artist, Roy Lichtenstein.
Shepard was in attendance at Saturday’s opening and he was so nice and attentive to his fans! He will sign anything you have with you, pose for a photo, give you stickers and even take the time to thoroughly and thoughtfully answer any questions you ask him, even though many people were waiting to have five seconds with him. So nice! Thank you Shepard Fairey for your wonderful art and for being such a cool person!
Photo of Gail and Shepard by Geoffrey Dicker
Harmony and Discord will be on exhibit through June 16th, 2012 at Pace Prints, located at 521 West 26th Street, 3rd & 4th Floors, New York, NY 10001. Gallery Hours are Tuesday -Friday: 10: 00 AM to 6:00 PM and Saturday: 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Former Sex Pistols’ Guitarist and Radio Show Host, Steve Jones, was born on this day, September 3rd, in 1955! It is a bummer that Steve’s awesome radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox (formerly brodcast on KROQ 106.7 FM radio in Los Angeles) is no longer on the air, but if you ever heard it you know why Jones is fucking legend! Happy Birthday, Steve!