ABOVE: "Mo(u)rning in America" in the Arts District. Photo by Melissa Richardson Banks / downtownmuse. BELOW: Shepard Fairey in the Arts District. Mural being installed on Angel City Brewing. Photo courtesy of Jetset Graffiti.
In response to Republican Party discourse on President Obama's economic policy, Shepard Fairey has a new series of hand stenciled political wheat-paste art. With help from Jetset Graffitti, the large scale commentary is debuting around the Downtown Los Angeles Arts District. It was installed last week, just in time for the opening of MOCA's "Art In The Streets."
“I was tired of people blaming Obama for the poor economy." said Fairey to those asking him about the installations. "Really, It all goes back to Reagan."
"It's Mo(u)rning in America" is located near 4th and Molino, close to the Downtown Arts District Dog Park. "Legislative Influence For Sale" graces Angel City Brewing on Alameda just south of Traction.
ADD: "Created on the street, at night, often in inaccessible places, graffiti writing is itself a species of physical performance. It’s not surprising then that images of the artists and their friends appear everywhere in the exhibition. As (Museum of Contemporary Art director and curator) Deitch noted, graffiti is an ephemeral form. Like performance art, it is often only experienced as documentation." Los Angeles Times' Review of "Art In The Streets"
Obama "Hope" poster in the Arts District, January 2008.
The NY Times
is reporting that Shepard Fairy made a "pre-emptive strike" by filing a
lawsuit against AP. Arguing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, Fairey’s lawyers
stated the use of the photo, taken by Mannie
Garcia for AP as a uncontracted freelancer, had transformed the literal
into a “stunning, abstracted and idealized visual image that creates
powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message."
In the same article, NYT speaks to Mannie Garcia, the photographer who may outright own the
copyright of the Obama photo used for the "Hope" and "Progress" poster
series. “I don’t condone people taking things, just because they can,
off the Internet,” Garcia told the NYT. “But in this case I think it’s
a very unique situation.”
It's becoming an interesting look at overlapping cultures when reading arguments on Fair Use
Shepard Fairey's arrest in Boston is now all over the blogosphere, along with the news was he was released a few hours later.
In their coverage, AP adds the backstory of the Obama poster controversy. They write "The image is the subject of a copyright dispute with The Associated
Press" and note Fairey's argument his use of the AP photo is protected by "fair
Of course, they do not mention that the AP photographer was a freelancer. Mannie Garcia, as noted earlier, may be the owner of the image copyright.
Someone may be bitter about the Lakers beating the Celtics, or maybe it was the two outstanding warrants. Either way, the Boston Globe reports that L.A.'s own Shepard Fairey "was arrested last night on his way to DJ an event kicking off his exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Art."
Police could not describe the nature of the outstanding warrants last night, but said they were based in Massachusetts.
Fairey has been arrested at least 14 times, he has told the Globe.
artist was arrested at about 9:15 p.m. as he was about to enter a
sold-out dance event at the Institute of Contemporary Art on Northern
Avenue, known as "Experiment Night." The event is geared toward a
younger-age crowd, with techno-style music, and more than 750 people
were waiting for him, some of whom had bought tickets for the event on
Craigslist for as much as $500.
Fairey was supposed to appear as
a guest DJ for the kickoff of his exhibit, Supply and Demand, which
will run through Aug. 16. He was scheduled to go on stage at about
10:30 p.m., and an hour later organizers reported to the crowd that he
"We're very disappointed," said Paul Bessire, deputy director of the Institute of Contemporary Art.
Being high profile has its disadvantages. Yesterday, I linked that photographer Mannie Garcia makes a strong claim he owns the copyright of the photo that has the Obama image Fairey propagated,borrowed,plagiarized, used for the poster.....etc, etc,etc.
Shepard Fairey found his source material for the HOPE/PROGRESS poster, museum piece (and now projected wall art) through a Google search. The photo was uncredited and the curious have been hunting down answers; some for months.
A case was made for Jim Young, the Reuters photographer who snapped Senator Obama in 2006. That photo was flipped and tweaked, according to the those who lined up the art with pic.
The propaganda parody of Shepard Fairey's self dubbed "experiment in
phenomenology" crosses into political image making with his limited
edition––and already sold out––Barack
Obama "Hope" and "Progress" posters. The endorsement reflects the artist's
conviction for the candidate and uses campaign staples, red
white and blue, as reflective hues. The "Obey" button worn by Obama supports Fairey's manifesto that the "medium is the message" –– or may imply that Andre the Giant will be selected as a running mate.
With the two Democratic candidates debating tonight at the Kodak Theatre, it's too late for Camp Clinton to hook in Robbie Conal and provide a rebuttal.
No word if civic leaders attending the debate will arrive on the Red Line.
Above: "Hope" at the edge of Joel Bloom Square. Below: "Progress" via ObeyGIant.
The Neighborhood Watch listed a number of concerns, one of which is the increased tagging of buildings. The form and composition of graffiti and street art has support in the Arts District and the works of Mr. Cartoon, Relic, Man-One and Shepard Fairey share the streets with each other. However, that support is dwindling fast as tagging is on the rise by gangs or worse, suburban art students.