Famed American street artist, Shepard Fairey, has revealed his first solo exhibition in London for five years.
Anyone with even an inkling of knowledge of graffiti over the past couple of decades should be well aware of the fact that Andre the Giant has a posse. Instigator of that sticker art meme and creative mastermind behind urban clothing brand Obey, Shepard Fairey seems to have a sizeable posse too.
Long lines of art lovers queued up for the opening of his Sound & Vision exhibition stretched around buildings and endured a rainy miserable wait outside. All seemed pleased once in and Fairey’s new works included mixed media paintings on canvas, works on paper, retired stencils collages, rubylith cuts as well as serigraphs on wood, metal and paper.
With the title Fairey tips his hat to the David Bowie song of the same name. It seems Fairey is a huge fan of David Bowie. But it’s not just Bowie that the artist listens to for inspiration. One installation at the show features vinyl (and lots of it) from Fairey’s actual record collection. Even a quick glimpse reveals the man likes his 1980s punk rock and has a deep love for LA band Black Flag.
Says Fairey about music and how it fits with his art:
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.
Through the show Fairey 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.
Shepard Fairey: Sound & Vision is on view for free at Stolenspace until November 4, 2012. Stolenspace is located at Dray Walk, The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL. The exhibition is in two spaces: Stolenspace’s permanent gallery as well as next door at the Old Truman Brewery’s Loading Bay on Dray Walk. Both are just off Brick Lane. The nearest London Underground station is Liverpool Street Station. Shoreditch High Street Overground Station is nearby as well.
Visit Stolenspace online at stolenspace.com.
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Photo: Chris Osburn