*** 2-15-14 – Edit *** Over this passed week I was contacted by Mariko A. who worked on the Shepard Fairey Artsy page. Mariko wanted to know if I would be kind enough to link this post to the Artsy site. Fairey’s Artsy page is filled with a ton of info on his works, exhibitions, and contains more links to even more info. If you stumbled upon this post and wanted to learn more then you may want to consider visiting that site. ***
I’m not going to go into great lengths or details to explain who Shepard Fairey is or over analyze his art work in this post. For one, I’m not an art connoisseur by any means. I can’t drone on for hours and hours about art, technique, etc. This brings up my second point. Since I don’t consider myself an expert on visual arts, I don’t feel that I can adequately explain to you all the techniques and details that someone more knowledgeable than myself can describe.
I can tell you about this. Shepard Fairey is an artist who was born in Charleston. He does a lot of street art and stenciling. Some of his most famous works were the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” stickers and murals, and also during the 2008 presidential election he created the iconic “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s campaign. For those that have seen the art that hangs in galleries in and around the city, they know that they mostly see pictures of beaches, boats, Gullah motifs, and of course the old timey Charleston houses, and the Ravenel Bridge. For those that also know the city officials that Charleston has, then you know that they dislike folks “vandalizing” their city and art that’s not boats, ducks, or palmetto trees. You could say Shepard would have a pretty tough time here doing anything out in the open without someone to arrest him. You could imagine my surprise when I started seeing his murals appearing in the downtown area of Charleston.
I’m just going to kind of stop typing about his art. I firmly believe that visual art is something that you really experience on your own accord. People can tell you how to observe and analyze it, but it takes the viewer to really interpret the meaning that it conveys personally.
All the photos in this post came from BadJon Photogrpahy. I only posted up the ones that I enjoyed. The great thing about his photography is that he always has the coolest lighting effects and he’s always in the right place at exactly the right times. (Side note: I’ve met him a couple of times in passing and he’s actually a really cool dude.) Head over to his site www.badjon.com for hundreds more photos of Shepard Fairey’s work. While you’re there, check out his other photos as well. He’s one of my favorite local photographers.
If you’re in the Charleston area, and want to have experts give you more information than a radio/club DJ can about art, stop by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art from May 22nd to July 14th, 2014 to view Fairey’s exhibit, The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs In The Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns.