September 12, 2012
Shepard Fairy aka Obey is gearing up for a solo show at London’s Stolen Space Gallery titled “Sound and Vision,” taking its name from a David Bowie song. Music has been a long time inspiration for Fairey, and in discussing the his motivation for the show Fairey explains:
“Music has taught me far more than art has about connecting with an audience. I’ve often thought “I can’t get this song out of my head,” but rarely thought “I can’t get this painting out of my head.” I’ve had some very moving encounters with art in my life, especially in the street, but almost nothing can compare to the first time I heard the boots marching and first chord of the Sex Pistols’ Holidays in the Sun, or the air raid sirens leading into “too black, too strong” on the intro to Public Enemy’s It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, or the opening guitar scream of Black Flag’s Rise Above. Those songs did, and still do, make my arm hairs stand up. 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 a lot cooler and much more able to reach people’s hearts and minds. There’s something subversive about bundling seductive visuals with provocative ideas, or provocative visuals with seductive ideas. An audience that approaches a work of art or music for the sake of enjoyment doesn’t expect intellectual engagement, and vice versa. An audience that’s looking for escape doesn’t expect a confrontation and a call to action, but I believe the best music, and the best art, delivers both. Call the approach hi-brow/lo-fi or lo-brow/hi-fi, but I try to use it in my work to capture the same energy and spirit that makes music so powerful.”
“Sound & Vision” will feature Fairey’s signature mixed media style bearing messages of social commentary reflecting his inspiration from musical icon such as the Clash, the Circle Jerks, Kraftwerk, Public Enemy, Neil Young, and Metallica. The show will also feature a record store installation complete with “customized vintage turntables” and records from Fairey’s own personal collection that will be played for the public. The installation will also showcase over 80 12″x12” images created as tributes to 12” LP sleeves.
words by Yeah Write