“Music is visceral, but also has the additional powerful layers of the lyrics, with their content and politics, and the style, politics, and personalities of the musicians themselves."
Sound & Vision, the exhibition title taken from the David Bowie song of the same name. Bowie has been a major influence on Fairey, because he was able to master music and visual presentation with equal virtuosity. Music is an artistic medium that Fairey reveres as much as he does visual art. He comments: “Music is visceral, but also has the additional powerful layers of the lyrics, with their content and politics, and the style, politics, and personalities of the musicians themselves. No matter how much I love art, or try to convince myself of its relevance in society, the fact remains that music is much more able to reach people’s hearts and minds.” The artist hopes to be able to induce in people, even a fraction of the emotion that hearing a new song or listening to a familiar one can evoke.
In 2008 his portrait of the then Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, with the message of ‘HOPE’ under the illustration, became an internationally recognised emblem of the campaign and a symbol political change for many. In 2009 Fairey's Obama portrait was inducted into the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery as the official presidential portrait. Since last exhibiting in London, Fairey has continued to progress with his art and with a 20 Year Retrospective museum exhibition that began at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston in 2009 and continued to the Warhol Museum and Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati.