“I actually side with people who oppose injustice,” says Shepard Fairey, “especially when it comes to human rights.”
He’s speaking about the recently vandalized mural of the famous Marianne produced by the artist named Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite (Liberty, Equality, Fraternity) in the 13th arrondissement of Paris a few years ago. In a high-profile act of defilement, the anonymous artists/activists who sprayed through the text and added tears to the figure at the end of 2020, captured in a video by Milan Poyet.
Determined to reassert his narrative over his work, Fairey has restored the original beacon of confidence and optimism and added a teardrop to her visage – to acknowledge the actions of the collective as well as the fact that we are failing as a people in such obvious ways to honor these values of liberty, equality, and fraternity.
In the end, these are only words, and they are meaningless unless you back them up with deeds. Fairey tells us that he wants actions to speak louder than that, so in coordination with Galerie Itinerrance, he is releasing a new print of this image Wednesday, February 17, 2021, and the profits will be entirely donated to the non-profit association “Les restos du coeur,” which fights daily for people in difficulty.
Find out more about the edition of 650 of the Marianne (#MariannePleure) by checking out the the Itinerrance.fr website and of course obeygiant.com
Today we celebrate American worker’s contributions to our society. The workforce is the engine moving our country to the realization of our dreams and goals. The men and women who get up every day to seek a decent living in this country are increasingly under assault by the corporation’s manipulation of people and profits. Our labor unions have been decimated and the workers’ rights chipped away little by little, or a lot by a lot. All of it began with Reagan and it hasn’t stopped since. Congress is beholden to special interests with most of our elected officials’ ears more attuned to the lobbyists’ demands roaming the halls of Congress than to the ordinary people’s plight for help for better wages, better work conditions, better parental leave, better health insurance.
The Pandemic has only exacerbated the already perilous conditions among the middle class and poor Americans. Most working-class individuals were already living paycheck to paycheck with little if any savings to confront personal, family crises. The poor have always counted on the safety net that the government has put in place to help alleviate their financial and health burdens but those services have been either privatized for-profit or totally eradicated. When Covid-19 took hold of the whole world and Trump made the situation in the USA worse, the majority of Americans have found themselves steps removed from the economic precipice, or pushed into it. Strangely, Democrats also are not coming to the rescue.
There are many lessons to be learned from this Pandemic, one of them will undoubtedly be the abysmal difference between those with money and those without it to confront this crisis. The rich are getting incredibly richer and the poor are getting poorer. Lockdown has been difficult for all of us but certainly easier for those without financial difficulties.
Almost 30 million Americans have lost their jobs, and their hopes of getting them back are slimmer by the week. If there is to be an economic recovery in this country the divisions of who’ll benefit from said recovery will be sharply divided. While the stock market has hit record levels of wealth, ordinary Americans have seen greater inequality. So you might wonder, what are we celebrating today? Our workforce is in tatters and our service economy has been decimated.
Shepard Fairey made the works shown above in LA almost a decade ago, and his message resonates even stronger today.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Plain Brutality Again: Jacob Blake. 2. INDECLINE: Get Dead – Pepper Spray 3. Shepard Fairey: Arts Vote 2020
BSA Special Feature: Plain Brutality Again: Jacob Blake
The violence against black people continues. The latest shooting of a black American citizen by the police took place in Kenosha, Wisconsin where a police officer shot Jacob Blake on Sunday.
Mr. Blake, a father, a son, a brother, and uncle, was shot seven times by the police as he leaned into the driver’s seat of his car resulting in Mr. Blake being paralyzed and unable to walk and under intensive care at the hospital. Yet he is being handcuffed to his bed. Mr. Blake was not carrying a weapon.
Are we only to add his name to the endless list of black and brown people brutalized and killed? Here we post a recent short film that examines this moment in American history as well as through the lens of system racism.
Voices from the Black Lives Matters Protests ( A short film) Vanity Fair
INDECLINE: Get Dead – Pepper Spray
An amalgam of blinding rage and graffiti, anti-authoritarian self-destructive vandalism melded into a demand for the end of state-sponsored violence played out to a raspy-voiced tirade and gutter-crunch guitars and drums. Many of society’s contradictions are here on display for all to see.
Artists Shine Light on Trump, GOP Atrocities in Emotionally-Charged New Billboard, Street Art Campaign
The billboards are going up in Detroit, Michigan, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Phoenix, Arizona – all so-called “battleground” states for this years presidential election. Using their talent as street artists to draw attention in public, this group of billboards is grabbing the attention of passersby with aesthetics as well as content.
In a campaign funded by Collective
Super PAC, the SuperPAC affiliate of The Collective PAC, a number of street
artists as well as artists from other genres and practices are lending their
individual skills to remind potential voters what has already been done – with a
warning that four more years would march us straight off a cliff, in their
Artists Shepard Fairey, Nekisha
Durrett, Nate Lewis, Rafael Lopez, Robert Russell, Rob Sheridan, and Swoon each
take on their variation of the messages on topics like police brutality,
racism, hate speech, immigration and the Coronavirus pandemic. Some are simply dedicated
to controversial statements made by Trump and others on his team.
“Our message is simple:
Remember what they did and vote them out,” says organizer Robin Bell, whose
known for his projections on the façade of the Trump Hotel.
For Shepard Fairey, it was
the irony that this spring and early summer Trump was trying to solve our
problems with police brutality with, uh, police brutality.
“My art piece is a reminder
that while the American public was protesting in the streets, in record
numbers, against racism and police brutality, Donald Trump was encouraging
police brutality against the protesters, reinforcing the very same problems
within law enforcement and the criminal justice systems the protesters were
demanding to be reformed,” says Fairey. “This image implies that the police are
supposed to be peacekeepers, not warriors, and that Donald Trump is on the
wrong side of social justice and the wrong side of history!”
The images are stark, sometimes
shocking, but then so are the times they are documenting – and street art is
often holding a mirror up to society. “Life imitates art, and the images we see
have a direct impact on our democracy,” says Quentin James, Founder and
President of The Collective.
As the economy continues to
deflate and the Greater Depression is waiting to be triggered by a crash, not
only will we see more street art, we’ll depend on it as tea leaves to read about
ourselves and hopefully remember what we all did (and didn’t), so we can learn
are grounded, parks are closed, and asthma is down. Wild animals are enjoying
their natural habitat without the hordes of humans traipsing about their
territory. Mountains, rivers, lakes, and our oceans are experiencing less
stress and our cities, in general, are calmer and cleaner. When people float
conspiracy theories about Covid-19, we always like the one about the Earth
creating it to get our attention and be better earth citizens.
years after the first Earth Day, we pause to recognize people like US Senator
Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat from the state of Wisconsin who founded it. He
probably had no idea that corporations would take over the Senate and House and
White House and the media here in 2020.
the good work of those first environmentalists hasn’t been completely reversed,
however they have tried to smear the name of people who love the Earth, eroding
laws that protect it. “Teach-ins” from the Vietnam War era actually inspired Senator
Nelson to envision a “national-teach-in-movement” where neighbors taught each
other and empowered and encouraged one another to act positively and directly
to protect natural resources. For all those who have fought for our environment
and our fellow creatures, some at great personal cost, we salute you.
Artist and activist Shepard Fairey has been sounding the alarm on environmental
issues and the climate for years now. His voice resonates because he’s informed
and straight-forward with his graphic campaigns to elevate the discussion where
we all can participate with the shared goal of leaving this planet in much
better shape than it was when we were born. Here are a couple of posters he
just released through his design studio Studio No 1.
This way when the neighbors in the building across the street see you hanging out the window during our 7 pm public applause session — they’ll know even more about your worldview.
“Art has the power to bring us together, even when we’re apart,” says Street Artist, graphic artist, fine artist Shepard Fairey, who has designed posters along with his Studio Number One for us all to use as we like. It may even help many of us feel like we are doing this together, instead of solo.
“We are all in this together,” Shepard says, “and we will
Where is the People’s Bailout? Why has the bailout that was promised to small businesses already run out? Why is congress on vacation? Why is Biden staring up at the wall like he’s concentrating on a dead spider? The people are dying, running out of food, the economy is dying, businesses are dying. The Post Office, starved and bad-mouthed for years by the capitalists who want to kill it, is finally dying. Do we realize which direction the US is being dragged by the oligarchs and their one party corporate Republicrat-Demoblicans?
This summer New York has been crazily, sometimes chaotically overlaid with tons of graffiti, Street Art, and murals – a testament to the enduring passion of a public that wants to see this organic patterning of the city skin, and the unquenchable thirst that artists and writers in New York have for showing their work to the public without intervening forces. Some of it is illegal, some of it is legal – all of it is part of the New York conversation.
Additionally, and in concert with, this ongoing conversation is a private pop-up exhibition called “Beyond the Streets” that pulls back from this moment and looks at pertinent and fundamental slices of the first 50 years of art in the streets from the perspective of a handful of sharp-eyed curators who have done their homework.
Presented in the context of historians defining a view of the scene with an eye toward private collectors of contemporary art, the vast show features paintings, sculpture, photography, site-specific installations, commercially branded environments, a large gift shop, historical ephemera – and a 30th anniversary Shepard Fairey exhibition within the exhibition.
“Beyond the Streets” in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was originally a three-month show that ran through August, it has been extended to September 29th – as they say – by popular demand. In addition, to celebrate and thank the community for their support, BEYOND THE STREETS will host free admission day on Thursday August 29th.
For some humorous summer reading ; the white-gloved New York Times took their semi-annual trip on the subway – just to stay in touch with the commoners – and was scandalized by the tawdry state of advertising in the subways, with suggestive phallic shapes and ladies posing in underwear and what not. NYT was not however scandalized by the chronically destitute conditions of subway infrastructure like the enormous pieces of peeling ceiling poised to drop on people at the Chambers station for example. Or the rats. Or the lack of garbage cans, police officers, newsstands, air conditioning or the the $2.75 fare that has outpaced inflation – meaning that the equivalent of a 1987 fare would be about $2.03 if it had stayed with inflation, for example. That’s hardship on New York’s poor families – but New York Times is not talking about that.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Almost Over Keep Smiling, Appleton Pictures, Banksy, City Kitty, Dr. SCO, Early Riser, FAUST, Gianni Lee, Heck Tad, Lambros, M*Code, Neon Savage, Shepard Fairey, and The Postman Art.
Shepard Fairey’s portrait of actor and activist Rosario Dawson on the water tank of a Manhattan building called “Power & Equality. The image celebrates this Lower East Side original who has been a champion activist for girls and women and who stays true to her roots.
We have been documenting this artist’s work for years now. His message is about diabetes/diabetic awareness and its causes, our addiction with sugar and the food industry relentless habit of adding sugary ingredients on almost all prepared foods…that and the innordinate sugar amounts on soft drinks of course. So it was a big surprise to have caught the artist in action while putting work on his usual spot on the magnet wall in Chelsea.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring BRCEDU, Captain Eyeliner, Damon, Dark Clouds,Fhake, Ghake, Jerk Face, Mad Villian, Mattew Hyte, MurOne, Praxis, R Burns Wilder, Shepard Fairey, Sinned, Stikman, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Thomas Allen, and Vy.
Our weekly focus on the moving image and art in the streets. And other oddities.
Now screening : 1. Facing The Giant: Three Decades of Dissent Part Two – Shepard Fairey 2. Stephanie Boyce: If You Know Me Is To Love Me. 3. Dotmasters: Why Is That Shovel There?
BSA Special Feature: Facing The Giant: Three Decades of Dissent Part Two – Shepard Fairey
The sky is on fire! And it’s not just because of the gorgeous sunset.
Shepard Fairey has been respectfully smacking us in the head for 30 years with his earnestly alarmist art in the streets. Challenging a narrative pushed by the corporate state via smiling blond newsreaders fronting a well funded armature of skullduggery, this perpetual dissenter has found ways to deliver the poison pill with ever-more sophisticated graphic design and plain spoken diatribe.
was trying to encourage people to just be more analytical and to come to their
own conclusions,” he says as he describes his work during the steady hail of
disinformation called “The War on Terror”. Bless his heart.
says he was looking for a more honest manifestation of his work and how he
represented the observations and opinions he had based on his own research.
“I felt like I had the courage to become myself what I had emulated in a lot of my heroes.” Faced with a hostile political environment from the corporatized media machine and the dazed inertia response from a significant portion of his intended audience, it is surely maddening at times. Regardless, as an artist, catalyzer and a citizen, Fairey continues to challenge himself, and us.
Stephanie Boyce: If You Know Me Is To Love Me.
Artist Stephanie Boyce has been drawing all her life and takes you on a tour of
her neighborhood and the Muddguts Gallery that represents her.
difficult to tell my story in a ten minute movie,” she says, but you get a good
idea of the ups and downs that she has faced through her art, their symbolisms,
and of course her own words.
props go out to Director Nicolas Heller for this insightful and well-balanced
Dotmasters: Why Is That Shovel There? Nuart Aberdeen. By MZM Projects
also takes you on a tour in his new video, and even instructs you how his
technique is done. Mostly, it’s a relaxed conversation about his history and
that’s just a silkscreen process with a spraycan,” he said of his initial
realization of how certain pieces on the street were done when seeing
stencillists like Blek Le Rat in the 80s. “And I thought, ‘Wow, that’s a good
way of invading public space’.”
Robert Muller testified before Congress this week and no one seems happy. The spin-masters distort his words and his findings to accommodate their own personal narrative…and to continue to distract us from the thieve’s hands in our cupboards across the country.
Corporate Democrats and Corporate Republicans won’t get rid of this guy, but at least it will distract us from the lowest tax rates on the rich in our lifetimes, global warming, gun violence, increased poverty, racist immigrant-bashing policies, increased homeless populations, and a corrupted medical insurance system. So far, these distractions are working splendidly.
Sorry, that’s an unhappy way of welcoming you to BSA Images of the Week! You deserve better!
The news is that summer is in full swing and people are on the streets cooling off in public fountains, dancing, watching outdoor movies on roofs and in parks, seeing theater and music performances, and hopefully hitting Coney Island for a beach splash or a thrill ride.
The streets are being plastered with art. Some with political and social messages, some with a sense of humor, others with an acute sense of popular culture. A few are just plain pretty to look at. Whatever the style, the intention or the placement, what’s important is the fact that it’s happening again with gusto. Artists are out as well, sharing their ideas and their experiments with us, all for free and with permission to touch and photograph.
Here’s our weekly interview with the street, this time featuring Almost Over Keep Smiling, Frederic Edwin Church, Judith Supine, Mattew Hyte, Shepard Fairey, The Postman Art, and Winston Tseng.