‘I like duality, the idea that something can be seductive and provocative at the same time.’
It was in 2008 that Shepard Fairey officially became a household name when he created, illegitimately, the world famous Obama Hope poster. However, he had already built up his reputation on the streets decades before this breakthrough moment. His work, a mixture of parody and protest, serves to subvert the very medium to which it attaches itself. Wall paper posters adorn advertising billboards that in his own words ‘market nothingness’, while large scale posters with the simple one word message ‘obey’ stir the bewildered masses. His prolific use of the ‘Andre’ image, which he found in a newspaper back in the 90s, has transcended the artist’s practice and is now one of the most iconic urban graphics of all time.
Fairey’s mural practice has spanned over thirty years, in which time he has painted walls across the globe in what must be one of the most abundant urban artistic careers to date. For an artist who’s work is so strongly imbued with activism, the canvas of the street makes for the perfect setting.