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Shepard Fairey’s “Tunnel Vision” : Interconnected Networks of Art and Propaganda in Moscow for ARTMOSSPHERE Biennale 2018

Posted on November 3, 2018

New exclusive images today from Moscow as Shepard Fairey joined the 3rd ARTMOSSPHERE Street Art Biennale where BSA were co-curators this August and September.

In conjunction with ARTMOSSPHERE and his personal exhibition at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, an expansive collection that Fairey told us totaled 400 or so pieces and a huge crowd (see Zane Meyers video below), he created his first large-scale street work in the Russian Federation.

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

Entitled Tunnel Vision, the mural is derived from a recent fine art piece he did for his DAMAGED exhibition that incorporates his deep appreciation for Russian Constructivism and his own unique geometric studies in design. At the center, placed hypnotically and in a typically humorously ironic way, is his own meta icon, Andre the Giant framed inside the gear star symbol, flanked by icons of the machinery of messaging and distribution. A frequent critic of the mediated, manipulated techniques of global dis-information today, Fairey intrinsically loads his own imagery with the flair of a seasoned elocutionist on a world stage.

The significance of the more structural geometry of a tunnel is magnified by the location of the mural on the façade of a tram depot. Moscow’s impressive metro system dates back to 1935, a time period that parallels the powerful Soviet posters and artworks that communicated with the population and promoted the might of train systems as a point of national identity and pride.

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

That this form of messaging and image-making inspired many artists and designers around the world for decades afterward, it adds layers of significance to this photo (below) of Fairey on the Moscow Metro train with ARTMOSSPHERE co-founder Sabina Chagina and previous biennale curator Christian Omodeo. Add this to the references of the modern graffiti tradition of painting messages and images on trains throughout cities globally and the painted Soviet Agit-Trains of the 1920s, and the thematic interconnectedness here will require a map.

Christian Omodeo, Sabina Chagina, and Shepard Fairey on the Moscow Metro. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

The inscription on the mural reads: “Art should be distributed everywhere” and while trains and planes still distribute the goods and the people everywhere, it is a new set of electronic and computer engines that can distribute the information and aesthetics everywhere today. Perhaps Fairey is reminding us that if this communication freedom of expression becomes limited we can risk the creation of a narrow form of tunnel vision.

“I believe that the mural in a public space is just as powerful a means of influencing minds and spreading artistic ideas as the replication of my posters. Therefore, in the work there is a printing press, it symbolizes, relatively speaking, the monumental propaganda in the modern sense. The work is named in an ironic way: after all, art expands, rather than narrows, our view of the world,” Fairey says of the new mural.

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

Shepard Fairey photogrpahed here with Artmossphere co-founder, the lovley Sabina Chagina. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)

Shepard Fairey. “Tunnel Vision”. Artmossphere Biennale Moscow 2018 . (photo © Vasiliy Kudryavtsev)


Force Majeure: The Art of Shepard Fairey by Zane Meyers and Chop ‘Em Down Films


The project is launched with the collaboration of the creative group ARTMOSPHERE, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the RuArts Foundation with the support of the Italian gallery Wunderkammern.

With the participation of the Moscow Department of Transport, the show continues outside the museum venue in the urban space. The building is located at 12, Mytnaya Street.


Our sincere thanks to Vasiliy Kudryavtsev for sharing these exclusive photos for BSA readers.
Click on the link below to see more of Vasya’s work:

https://www.facebook.com/vasiliy.kudryavtsev


 

 

 

 

 

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