Björn Persson, Shepard Fairey, Derrick Adams…Making the World a Better Place

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Björn Persson 1972 –

Björn Persson is spending the next two months in Botswana, exploring the Kalahari Desert and the country’s National Preserves. As always, his mission is to photograph the wildlife that roams free, in the hope of saving the animals from poachers.

Last week, his work raised thousands of euros at OperationAid gala in Stockholm to help refugees from the Ukraine.

The Swedish-born photographer has published two books, Beauty Will Save the World and The Real Owners of the Planet. He believes that by focusing his lens on the beauty and life of endangered species, more humans will become inspired to get involved in wildlife preservation.

This trip to Botswana will get Persson closer to completing the trilogy of books that he has been working on.

Björn Persson’s photographs have been featured in National Geographic, Africa Geographic, Vagabond, Digital Camera, Wildlife and other publications.

When he isn’t taking photographs in the African bush, he lives and works in Stockholm. Persson is represented in Florida by VFA.

Shepard Fairey 1970 –

Shepard Fairey’s work is going to be on display at this weekend’s Welcome to Rockville concert  at the Daytona International Speedway. Billed as America’s Largest Rock Festival, this year’s show includes KISS’ End Of The Road Farewell Tour, KORN, Guns N’ Roses, Nine Inch Nails, The Smashing Pumpkins and more.

Fairey’s Obey/Giant artwork will be presented on 16-foot-high pillars throughout the fairgrounds.

Shepard Fairey has spent his career creating art that advocates for social justice, like his Power to the Patients Nascar design.

During January’s Art Week in Miami, Fairey completed Invent Your Future, a mural at Miami Edison Senior High School in Little Haiti.

Although he often works on large projects, in a recent interview with Barron’s, Shepard said, “My prints are the cornerstone of my art, even though I love to make paintings and huge murals and clothing. Affordable screen-prints have been the consistent thing from the beginning of my career.”

Derrick Adams 1970 –

Derrick Adams teaches at Brooklyn College, has opened a free retreat for artists, has received a Mellon Foundation Award to help build a cultural center in his hometown of Baltimore and was recently honored with the Art & Social Justice Award from the Bronx Museum of the Arts.

Adams has designed an instillation at the African American Museum in Philadelphia that continues his focus on leisure for Black Americans and the challenges they face in finding safe spaces for rest and relaxation.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary was inspired by The Negro Motorist Green Book, an annual guidebook for Black Americans who were traveling through the U.S. during the Jim Crow Era.  It was  published by New York postal worker Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1967. The Green Book provided a list of hotels, restaurants, barbershops and beauty parlors, taverns, and other venues where African American travelers were safely welcomed during segregation.

Derrick Adams: Sanctuary includes about 50 pieces of mixed-media collage, assemblage on wood panels, and sculpture. The exhibit will be on display through August 28, 2022.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the work of Bjorn Persson, Shepard Fairey and Derrick Adams available at VFA.


References:
Nadja Sayer. 20 Minutes With: Street Artist Shepard Fairey. Barron’s/Penta. February 7, 2022.
Look up! Banners by Shepard Fairey will fly over LA before Super Bowl. KCRW. February 10, 2022.
Brooklyn Street Art. Shepard Fairey Says, “Invent Your Future” in Miami’s Little Haiti. January 12, 2022.
Robbie Sequira. Bronx Museum of the Arts celebrates 50 years, Borough President Gibson among gala’s honorees. Bronx Times. May 13, 2022.
Moni Jones. African American Museum in Philadelphia: Celebrating our past, embracing the future. The Philadelphia Sun. May 6, 2022.

Shepard Fairey: Celebrating 30 Years of Dissent

Shepard Fairey has been one of the world’s most admired, and outspoken, artists of the past thirty years.

To celebrate his career, Fairey has been traveling to major cities around the world with a tour called Facing the Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent.

The tour, which will travel through New York, Providence, Los Angeles, Vancouver, Paris, Grenoble, Seoul and London, will showcase many of his finest works.

Fairey took the tour  to Providence last month to commemorate the start of his career and to paint his 1ooth mural.

Where It All Began

Shepard Fairey moved to Providence in 1988 to attend the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). At 2:30 one morning, in the fall of 1990, Fairey climbed up a billboard on the corner of North Main and Steeple Streets, and graffitied over a campaign billboard to reelect former mayor, Buddy Cianci, who had been forced to resign after pleading “no contest” to an assault on a man Cianci claimed was dating his estranged wife.

Cinch won the 1991 election, but ultimately spent four years in prison after he was indicted in 2001 on federal criminal charges of racketeering, conspiracy, extortion, witness tampering and mail fraud.

Fairey was a 20-year-old student in 1990, and it was more mischief than politics that motivated him to alter the sign. He said at the time he thought, “This billboard is dumb and needs to be made fun of.”

He replaced Cianci’s face with an Andre the Giant sticker, added a sign that read, “Join the Posse” and changed the slogan Cianci never stopped caring about Providence to read Andre never stopped caring about Providence.

The billboard got a lot of attention and so did Shepard Fairey. Cianci’s daughter knew a skateboarding friend of Fairey’s and he was summoned to Cianci’s home soon after the graffiti was discovered.

In a recent interview in the Providence Journal, Fairey said that Cianci issued a press release, saying that he wasn’t going to punish Fairey, but would see that he used his talents to teach screen printing to underprivileged youth…something that Cianci never followed up on.

Shepard Fairey went on to earn his his BFA in Illustration, open the Alternate Graphics print shop in Providence and become a world renown artist, whose work is included in the collections of  The Smithsonian, MoMA, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and other major venues around the world.

He also worked closely with AS220, a group in Providence that offers affordable artists’ studios and youth outreach to the community. Fairey’s 100th mural is an homage to Anjel Newmann, a young woman who took hip-hop dance classes at AS220 as a kid and went on to become the youth director for the organization.

Shepard Fairey Prints at VFA

At the time Shepard Fairey was plastering Andre the Giant stickers around Providence, he also worked as a teaching assistant in screen printing classes at RISD. His passion for his art, as well as his empathy, has led to his becoming  a master printmaker, whose meticulous work has a universal appeal.

Please contact us if you would like more information about the prints by Shepard Fairey available at VFA.

See More Shepard Fairey for Sale

References:
Kerri Tallman. Shepard Fairey to Paint 100th Mural in Providence. The Rhode Island Monthly. October 3, 2019.
Madeline List. Providence welcomes back renowned street artist Shepard Fairey. Providence Journal. October 21, 2019.
SAL. Interviews: Shepard Fairey. arrestedmotion. October 2, 2019.
Shepard Fairey Brings His 30th Anniversary Show to Beyond The Streets New York. June 6, 2019.
https://as220.org/facing-the-giant-in-providence-october-21-25/
Shepard Fairey Prints for Sale

Shepard Fairey: Salad Days, Robert Plant & Beyond

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Shepard Fairey said that Punk Rock and skateboarding saved his life. That sounds very dramatic, but the influence of music and skateboarding led Fairey to become one of the world’s most recognizable street artists.

Salad Days

Back in the days when he was putting his artwork on skateboards, Fairey saved what little money he had by using a printer at Kinkos. That limited his color choice to black and white, and occasionally, red, when he was able to rig the machine with a paper clip. Rather than limiting him, the muted colors motivated him to create designs that were crisp and dramatic.

The Sex Pistols, Public Enemy and other punk rock bands opened the young Shepard Fairey’s eyes to the possibilities of using art as a means of expressing social and political ideas. Shepard Fairey: Salad Days, 1989-1999 is one of the current exhibits at Detroit’s Cranbrook Art Museum. The exhibit looks at the first decade of Fairey’s career and how his first Andre the Giant and OBEY flyer became a recognizable image around the world. Also on display at the Cranbrook, complementing Salad Days, is an exhibit called Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die: Punk Graphics, 1976-1986, showcasing much of the art that inspired Fairey. Shepard Fairey: Salad Days, 1989-1999 runs through October 7th.

Shepard Fairy Collaboration with Robert Plant

Shepard Fairey has contributed art work to Robert Plant’s video, New World. Proceeds from the video, which also include artwork by Ernesto Yerena, will go to the Honor the Earth foundation, whose mission is to create awareness and support for Native environmental issues and to develop needed financial and political resources for the survival of sustainable Native communities.

Shepard Fairey Beyond the Streets

A showcase of contemporary graffiti and street art, called Beyond the Streets, is going on now in L.A. and will run through August 26th. On display are Shepard Fairey designs, applied to a limited edition of retro Eames chairs. The chairs were designed by Charles and Ray Eames and entered into The Museum of Modern Art’s International Design Competition in 1948. Fairey’s black and white design is a collage of patterns that fans of the artist will recognize.

The Global Mural Project in Aspen

Shepard Fairey’s Global Mural Project is an initiative to create public art works around the world, highlighting themes of equality and social justice. Fairey’s latest project is a mural that he just completed in Aspen, Colorado. The mural, called Ideal Power, is 22 feet high and about 55 feet long, spanning the length of an alley in downtown Aspen.

“I think this is the largest crowd that’s ever gathered for me in the street without pitchforks and torches,” Fairey told the crowd that gathered to see the unveiling of the mural.

Shepard Fairey at VFA

Please contact us if you would like more information about Shepard Fairey’s work, or any of the fine art available at VFA.

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Shepard Fairey: Posters Supporting Parkland Students

The genius of Shepard Fairey lies in his ability to create works of art that, universally, elicit deep, visceral reactions. His 2008 HOPE poster for Barack Obama has become an iconic work. After Obama’s election, the Smithsonian acquired Fairey’s mixed-media portrait of Obama for the National Portrait Gallery.

Posters Supporting Parkland Students

Shepard Fairey has created a series of posters to support the continued movement for gun reform created and organized by the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. Schools Not War Zones and Assault On Our Future were done for the March 24th March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C.

Schools Not War Zones, Fairey surrounds a peace symbol with a circle of  AR-15 assault rifles and bullets on a yellow school bus yellow background. Assault On Our Future depicts a single assault rifle, bordered by chains, with a sticker-like graphic on the upper right hand corner that reads Product of the U.S.A.

Schools Not War Zones and Assault On Our Future, as well as other posters in support of gun reform, can be downloaded, for free, at Fairey’s website: http://www.studionumberone.com/free-downloads.

Obey Giant Documentary

Obey Giant: The Art and Dissent of Shepard Fairey, looks at Shepard Fairey’s career from skateboarder to influential and controversial artist. The documentary was directed by Oscar-winner James Moll (Foo Fighters: Back and Forth and The Last Days) and executive produced by James Franco.

The film premiered on Hulu last November and is an interesting look at the way Shepard Fairey has come to be recognized as a force, not just within the art world, but throughout the world.

Shepard Fairey Mural in Charlottesville

Shepard Fairey is donating his time and talent to create a mural in downtown Charlottesville, to commemorate Heather Heyer,  who was killed last August, when a car slammed into a crowd of counter-protesters,  shortly after a Unite the Right rally was deemed an unlawful assembly.

The mural will be done in collaboration with the Heather Heyer Foundation and, according to the application submitted to the Charlottesville Mural Project, “This will be a dedication to the equity, peace, kindness and community engagement that Heather and countless others in this city stand for.” In addition to Fairey’s work, local artists Eze Amos and Destinee Wright will also contribute work to the project.

Shepard Fairey at VFA

Works of Shepard Fairey, like Peace and Freedom Dove, Paradise Turns and Classic Discs, continue to inspire us at VFA. Please contact us for more information about these, or any of the other fine art work available at VFA.

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Retna, Et Cetera…

Retna in West Palm Beach

The grand opening of the Restoration Hardware building on Okeechobee Boulevard is scheduled to have its grand opening on November 19th. A mural by Retna is on the eastern wall of the building. The project was done in conjunction with the West Palm Beach Art in Public Places program.

One of the requirements of Public Places program is that each new art project contribute at least one percent of a project’s cost. Retna’s work, valued at $500,000, meets that requirement.

Retna is based in Los Angeles, but has been doing public projects around the world and currently has a solo exhibition at the Maddox Gallery in London. He designed sets for the San Francisco Opera’s production of Aida and created the cover for Justin Bieber’s Purpose album.

Shepard Fairey Damaged

A documentary, called Obey Giant, that traces Shepard Fairey’s career, is going to premier on Hulu this month. Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker James Moll and Golden Globe-winner James Franco are the executive producers of the film.

The film is set to be released on November 11, the same day that Damaged, a show with about 200 new paintings, is scheduled to open in a Chinatown warehouse in Los Angeles.

In a New York Times interview, Fairey explained that he is not just looking at societal problems, but trying to find solutions. “Our approach to the environment is damaged, our political system is damaged and our communication with each other — especially through social media — is deteriorating,” he said,“But this show is not all about me being angry and apocalyptic; I’m trying to diagnose problems and move forward.”

“As angry as I am, I think that in times of division, scapegoating and hatefulness, it’s important to look for common humanity,” he said. “I think respecting human dignity is really punk rock right now.”

Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983 at MoMA

Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Kenny Scharf were just three of the many artists who met, performed and partied at Club 57 during the 1970s and 80s.

Located in the basement of a Polish Church on St. Marks Place in the East Village, Club 57 was a place where artists could present their works without being bound by rules or expectations. No discipline or medium was off limits and the club helped to encourage to the growth of many talented artists in film, graphics, fashion design, music and whatever else came along.

The MoMA  show, Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983, looks at the history of Club 57 and its influence on the art world.
The show will run through April 1, 2018.

Retna, Et Cetera at VFA

We have works by Keith Haring and other Club 57 artists available in our gallery. Please contact us if you would like more information about these or any of the other work available at VFA.

Irma & New Work

Gratitude After Irma

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, we have been reminded of a valuable lesson at VFA. The lesson is one of gratitude. Although many of us are still without electricity and some conveniences, our families, our homes and the Gallery got through the storm with relatively little damage. We are showing our gratitude by helping the community, in any way we can, return to a sense of normalcy.

Our friends and neighbors have been working together in a spirit of unity. There are many ways to help get our community back together after Hurricane Irma. We urge you to join us in helping, by volunteering if you can, or by donating to clean up efforts. The Red Cross has proven to be a vital part of our area’s recovery.

Vertu Fine Art

Our sincerest thanks goes out to the friends, family and clients who have shown their care and support before, during and after the storm.


New Work at VFA

Vertu is featuring new acquisitions from Tom WesselmannAlex KatzJulian OpieFrank StellaShepard Fairey and Mel Bochner.

Shepard Fairey: Protest Posters, Helping in Palm Beach, a Hit in Hong Kong and Free From Detroit

Protest Posters

Shepard Fairey has created We the People posters, with which he hopes to flood Washington, D.C. on Inauguration Day. Since large signs are prohibited at the inauguration, Fairey plans to buy full-page ads in the Washington Post on January 20th, that feature the We the People images, which can be torn out of the paper and carried as placards or hung and posted around Washington.

Helping in Palm Beach

Shepard Fairey will be creating a mural for  the Perry J. Cohen Foundation, a nonprofit organization  to support the advancement of boating safety, marine and wildlife education and preservation, teenage entrepreneurship and the arts. The mural is planned for the Wetlands Laboratory at Jupiter Community High School.

“I was honored and happy to create art for the Perry J. Cohen Foundation,” Fairey said, “not just because I’m a parent, but also because boating has been a passion for our family for generations. I hoped to capture Perry’s likeness, but especially a bit of his spirit and love of the water.”

The foundation was established by Nick Korniloff and his wife, Pamela Cohen, when Cohen’s 14-year-old son, Perry, was lost at sea in 2015, while boating with a friend in the Jupiter inlet.

A Hit in Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Contemporary Art Foundation (HOCA) invited Shepard Fairey to exhibit his work. The show, called Visual Disobedience, was highly appealing to the young residents of Hong Kong who, in 2014, protested the Chinese Communist Party’s pre-screening of the candidates for the leader of Hong Kong.

According to HOCA’s show’s organizers, Visual Disobedience, “explores the trajectory of Fairey’s career focusing on the theme of power and responsibility, contemplating the widespread abuse by positions of authority, and the response this exploitation solicits.”

Free From Detroit

Shepard Fairey dodged a bullet in Detroit last May, when a judge dismissed a felony case against him. The charges were brought against Fairey while he was in Detroit to paint a commissioned 18-story mural on the side of One Campus Martius, formerly known as the Compuware Building.

During his stay in Detroit, Fairey was accused of leaving some uncommissioned work around the city. The Detroit city attorney said that the city will file an appeal…so Fairey may have to go back to Detroit once again.

Shepard Fairey at VFA

For information about the work of Shepard Fairey available in our gallery, contact us or visit the gallery to see it up close.

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Shepard Fairey C'mon Everybody, 2014

Shepard Fairey Prints for Sale

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Vertu is proud to announce that we have prints available by the renowned Graffiti/Pop artist Shepard Fairey at our gallery in Boca Raton, Florida. Our focus is to collect prints by some of the leading artist in Abstract Expressionism, Pop and Optical Art, and the acquisition of prints by Shepard Fairey holds true to our vision to promote modern art.

Synopsis

Shepard Fairey, who’s arguably the most recognized street artist of the twenty-first century, creates works using a wide variety of media such as screen prints, stickers, stencils and collages. While he gained an enormous amount of publicity during the 2008 presidential campaign for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster, Fairey has actually been creating art since the late eighties. He first gained public attention for the “André the Giant has a Posse” sticker, which was done as a street art campaign while he was studying art at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Fairey’s OBEY Campaign

Fairey has explained his “OBEY” campaign as an experiment in phenomenology. In 1989, he did his first campaign as an experiment in phenomenology called when he created his “André the Giant has a Posse” stickers . This initial experiment was rather more straightforward than some of Fairey’s more recent works that experiment in phenomenology, as “André the Giant has a Posse” was only meant to provoke the attention of viewers and cause them to stop and question its meaning. In reality, however, the sticker had no meaning at all apart from being a way to provoke a reaction from its viewers, who were likely to have been confused upon seeing it.

This initial experiment in phenomenology later led to the “Obey Giant” campaign, and most of Fairey’s newer prints feature the word “Obey” written somewhere in a retro font. The artist uses this to make a satirical statement about propaganda, focusing his work on creating pieces that are meant to encourage people to question modern standards in thinking, often making bold statements that blatantly suggest direct propaganda in everyday things.

The Fairey prints currently available at Vertu, all feature the “Obey” theme popularized by the artist.

Know Your Rights

“Know your rights” is one of the Shepard Fairey prints currently available at Vertu. The 42 x 42 inch print follows the ideas present in some of Fairey’s other works through its blunt reference to political propaganda. With the words “OBEY RECORD” displayed at the top of this print, it’s one of the many prints that center around the “Obey” theme Fairey uses in his art.

Classic Disks

Another one of Fairey’s prints that feature a strong message about propaganda, this 42 x 42 inch print explores propaganda related specifically to music. With its powerful image and the words “PUTTING MUSIC ON A PEDESTAL SINCE 1989” written across the top, the message of this print could not be any clearer. “Classic Disks” is another one of the Fairey prints available for sale at Vertu.

Luxurious Sounds

This 42 x 42 inch print ties in perfectly with the other Fairey prints available at Vertu. Once again centering around the theme of propaganda as music, its retro style mimicking old fashioned advertisements holds a clear message, suggesting that ideas are being “sold” and in this metaphor, music is the means of spreading the message. This style is evident throughout all the Fairey prints currently available in our gallery.

At Vertu, we do our best to help collectors find the most suitable pieces for their collections. We believe that it’s important to find works that are well-suited to the personality and décor of every collector. Feel free to contact us if you’re interested in taking a look at artworks by Shepard Fairey or other icons in modern art. You’re also welcome to visit us at our gallery, our doors are always open to any enthusiastic art collectors who are looking for the perfect new addition to expand their collections.

Fine Art PRints: Robert Indiana

Politics and Patriotism in Fine Art Prints

American fine print artists have created some of the most powerful political and patriotic works in history. Shepard Fairey just jumped into the political fray with a new campaign poster.

Fairey’s work is tame in comparison to the print that Andy Warhol made when the Democratic party asked him for a contribution to George McGovern’s 1972 presidential campaign against Richard Nixon. Instead of a portrait of McGovern, Warhol chose to create a diabolic portrait of Nixon underscored with the hand-written message, Vote McGovern. Nixon won, but Warhol’s work, for sale at Vertu, is still one of the most powerful campaign posters in political history.

We tend to think about Pop artists as rebels in their day, and they were. But many of those same artists served in the Armed Forces during World War ll and the Korean War. That experience shaped their experience as artists and, in some cases, allowed them to continue their art education through the G.I. Bill.

Roy Lichtenstein was in the army from 1943 through 1946. He was worked as a draftsman and artist for the army. Lichtenstein was stationed in Europe, where he was exposed to great European art and artists. He was one of the artists who went to school under G.I. Bill and received a Master of Fine Arts from Ohio State University.

Lichtenstein did pilot training during his stint in the Army. His screenprint, Salute to Aviation, won a Purchase Award at the Brooklyn Museum’s 17th National Print Exhibition in 1970. It’s available for sale in our gallery at this time.

American artist Robert Earl Clark chose to call himself Robert Indiana, a tribute to the state in which he was born and raised. After a stint in the Air Force during the late 1940s, Indiana attended the Art Institute of Chicago under the G.I. Bill. His 2008 HOPE silkscreen was reproduced on T-shirts and other merchandise and netted more than $1million for the Obama campaign.

Indiana, at age 87, secludes himself, and his chihuahua, in his home in the coastal town of Vinalhaven, Maine. He he’s stayed out of politics since the 2008 election. When asked about the recent presidential campaigns by a Guardian interviewer, Indiana said, “I have, right in front of me as I sit talking to you, a Mexican friend of mine. He’s a chihuahua. And he’s very disturbed and very depressed watching TV. He’s sure that Trump guy is going to do away with chihuahuas.”

Jasper Johns, one of the greatest American painters and printmakers served in the army during the Korean War. Johns’ American Flags and maps are iconic images. Johns was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011.

We have several of Jasper Johns prints for sale at Vertu. One of our favorites is Periscope, which showcases his extraordinary use of color and design and his skill as a printmaker.

It’s not easy to imagine Robert Rauschenberg, a rebel in the art world, taking orders from anyone, but Rauschenberg was drafted and served in the Navy toward the end of World War ll.

His work includes images of and homages to iconic American people, places and events.

Rauschenberg created his Stoned Moon Series in 1969, the year of America’s first successful moon landing.  He was invited to Cape Canaveral, by NASA, to witness the launch of Apollo 11. The prints and writings he did in Stoned Moon Series indicate how profoundly affected he was by the event.

The Rauschenberg prints for sale at Vertu are distinctly American and attest to Rauschenberg’s skill as both a fine artist and printmaker. Artists have influenced the way we look at the world and the world has influenced the art they produce.

 

Shepard Fairey prints for sale

Shepard Fairey: From the Eiffel Tower to Jail in Detroit

In the past few weeks Shepard Fairey has brought awareness to Paris and controversy to Detroit.

For the COP21 World Climate Change Conference in Paris, Fairey created Earth Crisis, the first art installation ever placed in the Eiffel Tower. The work is covered in floral patterns and drawings that depict threats to the world’s ecology.

Fairey told Forbes magazine, “I hope that when people see the project they feel several things. I intentionally designed it to have a connection to things from nature that appeal like floral, decorative motifs, mandalas that suggest harmony but woven within that are several cautionary images. I hope my piece has many dimensions just like the world does.”

His trip to Paris included an exhibit at the Galerie Itinerrance, with Shepard Fairey prints for sale and works on display.

Now the controversy surrounding Shepard Fairey in Detroit:

Fairey completed a giant mural on the One Campus Martius building in downtown Detroit.

While Fairey was in Detroit, doing the commissioned mural, he told the Detroit Free Press, “I still do stuff on the street without permission. I’ll be doing stuff on the street when I’m in Detroit.”

Fairey did some stuff on the street without permission, and the city of Detroit estimates that cleanup and restoration of the sites, where he stuck up posters, will cost the city more than $24,000.

Fairey’s case will go to trial in January. According to the Detroit Free Press, “Fairey, 45, faces a count of malicious destruction of a building $20,000 or more, a 10-year felony, as well as two counts of malicious destruction of a railroad bridge, which are 4-year felonies.”

The Detroit Pistons staff sent an open letter to Fairey, with a possible solution to make all parties happy. They suggest he replace the Andre the Giant face on his commissioned mural with the face of the Piston’s center, Andre Drummond.

Hopefully, the outcome will be positive for both Fairey and the city of Detroit. The Shepard Fairey prints for sale at Vertu have the quality and fine artistry that defines his work. These serigraphs are limited editions, each with a deco feel and the messages that Fairey places in his art work.

If you’re interested in Shepard Fairey prints for sale, or any of the other art in our gallery, please stop by or contact us.



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Banksy Choose Your Weapon

Artists like Shepard Fairey: Rebels With & Without a Cause

Police in cities around the world still chase after graffiti artists for vandalizing property. Some of those artists are often commissioned, by the same authorities who considered them vandals, to paint public works in their cities. The work of the rebels in our gallery all have stories to tell, messages to pass along, and some of them have causes feel passionate about.

Shepard Fairey

In May, Shepard Fairey was commissioned by multimillionaire Dan Gilbert to paint a 185-foot mural on the side of the Quicken Loans headquarters building in Detroit. A few weeks later, Fairey was arrested by Detroit authorities for putting up posters in public spaces without permission. Fairey’s company, OBEY, supports Amnesty International and many other causes.

We have a number of Fairey’s serigraphs and an amazing OBEY Stratocaster in our gallery.

Banksy

In May, over 250 graffiti artists were invited to paint murals in Bristol, England, where Banksy, as a young graffiti artist, was continually chased by the cops. In the past few years, Banksy has focused his attention on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the West Bank.

Keith Haring

Keith Haring used the proceeds from his work to increase AIDS awareness. Since his death, in 1990 from AIDs-related complications, the Keith Haring Foundation has continued to provide grants to children and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
Haring worked his unmistakable style, not just on walls, not just in prints, but also on ceramics.

We are fortunate to be able to offer Spirit of Art No. 2, a Ceramic Platter issued by Haring’s estate and A Piece of Art, a ceramic serving set, in its original box.

Space Invader

Two years ago, the French artist, Invader, placed his pixelated pieces all over Hong Kong, while being chased around by Hong Kong police.

This year, Invader was invited by Hong Kong officials to put his mosaic tiles back up. In our gallery, we have one of Invaders serigraphs, done for the Art Alliance/Provocateurs Show, hosted every year by Shepard Fairey.

Gilf!

Gilf! is all about inspiring people to be more mindful of the way they interact with their communities and with each other. Gilf! is based in Brooklyn. This year she made lots of waves when she installed a giant banner, reading Gentrification in Progress at a location in Queens that was once a haven for graffiti artists.

We have two works from her Empower series, Empower Piece and Empower Equality, and a more recent work – a 4-color silkscreen titled, To Tehran with Love.

Retna

Retna has used his unique alphabet from the streets of L.A. to the walls of Louis Vuitton. We have an untitled serigraph in our gallery that was done for Shepard Fairey’s Art Alliance/Provocateurs show in 2014.

Retna has been making more news in the tabloids than in the art world recently, because of his volatile relationship with Brittny Gastineau.

PlasticGod

Though not a graffiti artist, we wanted to include L.A. artist PlasticGod in this group, since much of the proceeds from his work goes to numerous charities, like animal rights, cancer research and the Special Olympics. Also, anyone who thinks of combining Salvador Dali with Hello Kitty, gets a nod from us.

The work in our gallery is a serigraph with gold foil, called Oxymoron’s (Genuine Imitation). This nod to Andy Warhol is a bit ironic – the Warhol Gallery is where PlasticGod has exhibited his work.

To find out more about these artists, or any of the other artists in our gallery, please contact us or visit the gallery.

Shepard Fairey Luxurious Sounds, 2014

Shepard Fairey’s Cautionary Tone Hits All The Low Notes

A recently acquired Shepard Fairey serigraph, Endless Power, consistently puts smiles on the faces of viewers who appreciate the Pop Artist’s wry sense of humor. Like most Fairey works, this print is mired in sarcasm – poking fun at the naïve nature of America’s thirst for gas and more importantly, the establishment that condones it. The artist’s signature OBEY brand sits at the front the gas pump like a welcome mat, greeting (us) drivers as thoughtless sheep while we step up to fuel up. Shepard Fairey addresses the tie in to the words, “Lung Tonic” that appear in the retro advertisement-styled print. Fairey suggests that the benefits of fossil fuels are sold to the public in similar fashion to antiquated cigarette and liquor ads that touted the health benefits of such products many years ago.

Like Warhol, Johns, Lichtenstein and other American Pop artists before him, the power of Fairey’s art lies in it’s ability to lead us to question our beliefs. Unlike some of his predecessors, Shepard Fairey shows little desire to cloak his message in subtleties. Fairey is a 21st century artist who fully understands the importance of building a brand and the OBEY brand is served up with a solid graphic consistency. In his third decade as a successful commercial artist, Fairey remains unwavering in his campaign to wake up a docile public. To say that the counterculture punk rock-inspired artist is obsessed with propaganda is an understatement. Even in the fun-loving series of record album prints he released earlier this year, Shepard can’t help but preach his message.
Available at VFA: Know Your Rights, 2014, One color serigraph, one color varnish, 42 X 42 in., Edition of 50

And Shepard Fairey can get away with in your face messaging because of his unparalleled eye for design. Historic propaganda icons layered in mandala-like symmetry lead the viewer into a brief state of trance. As our eyes peruse the work, our brains have to resolve the fact that anti-propaganda messaging − cloaked in propagandist symbols or not − is propaganda in its own right. But the truth is that Fairey is on point, and at a time when fewer artists remain committed to strong ideals, this artist is unwavering.

Shepard Fairey’s talent for manipulation is most pronounced when he introduces us to works that mimic nostalgia. The artist’s record album covers, such as Satangelic Sounds, remind viewers of simpler times. Yet, the nostalgia is coupled with an eerie feeling that the artist is playing with our feelings of sentimentality. Perhaps the Golden Years concept is simply a story sold to the American public, while evil capitalists lurked in the background amassing power and wealth.

At our Gallery, we’ve noticed a significant uptick in interest in Shepard Fairey’s work that is consistent with the artist’s rise in popularity nationwide – and his growing international reputation. We welcome you to visit with us and view new works by Fairey and other masters of Pop, Optical and Abstract Expressionism. If you’re a collector seeking works by Shepard Fairey or other Contemporary Artists, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Shepard Fairey: Dissent Goes Pop

Before the Internet became mainstream media and Web 2.0 social channels made content sharing an everyday cultural norm, innovative young artists like Shepard Fairey relied on Word of Mouth advertising to launch “viral” campaigns. Like Pop Artist Keith Haring, who took to Manhattan’s subway stations to garner exposure for his early works, Shepard Fairey employed street tactics to plant seeds of inquiry about the nature of his artistic intentions. In 1989, while a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Fairey stumbled upon viral success with a sticker he designed and disseminated – bearing the likeness of professional wrestler Andre The Giant.

In typical Pop Art form, the Andre The Giant sticker had just the right lack of explanation to engender healthy intrigue and debate about its meaning and significance. The sticker indicates a bit of graffiti art style and sensibility, revealing that the “Has A Posse” statement has been added to the portrait bearing the wrestler’s name and impressive physical specifications. In hindsight, for those familiar with Shepard Fairey’s question authority mindset, the statement also carries a healthy dose of relevance. In fact, due to the unexpected enormous success of the sticker campaign, the concept morphed into an ongoing “Obey Giant” campaign – one that likens The Giant to powerful organizations such as the government and military arms of the establishment. The red and black colors of the Obey Giant campaign would become core colors within the style of the Shepard Fairy “brand.”

Art and culture are very undervalued in their ability to promote the ideas of democracy and freedom of expression, which to me is freedom in general.”
Shepard Fairey

By the time Fairey got to RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), the artist was heavily influenced by the skateboarding and punk rock culture he gravitated to growing up in Charleston, SC in the 1970s and 80s. Shepard Fairey credits his upbringing as part of a subculture that distrusts the establishment as an important aspect of what still fuels his art today. Even as he’s transformed from fringe artist to successful commercial artist, he’s done so with a style that lends itself to brands that seek to be positioned with “an edge.” Of course, living in an age where the Baby Boomer’s original “question authority” culture has pervaded mainstream sensibilities, it’s increasingly difficult for such views to gain traction as true “fringe”.

In 2008, Shepard Fairey’s Hope portrait of candidate Barack Obama elevated the artist to worldwide fame. For the majority of American masses, his rise to fame was “overnight.” Hope became an instant classic, with posters and stickers suddenly appearing everywhere in support of the desire for a new president to replace the unpopular George W. Bush presidency. The portrait captured the promise of a dramatic change in the White House and it was accompanied by two other posters Fairey developed as part of a series. The other two, Change and Vote, were also widely embraced by the Obama presidential campaign.

Fast forward to today and you’ll find that Fairey is still creating Pop Art that questions authority, often coupled paradoxically within framework of a nostalgic Americana style. Recently, Vertu Fine Art acquired two Shepard Fairy prints created in 2012 that are quintessential representations of the artist’s finest works. Both are done in comic book style that conveys the artist’s influence by Pop Artist greats who have come before, most notably Roy Lichtenstein.

Imperial Glory is an intriguing print that packs a punch. This Shepard Fairey work appears to be the love child of a military propaganda poster and an advertisement for hand-picked fruit. Of course, the parents of this work would have to be Lichtenstein and Fairey – with Ben-Day dots and Shepard’s now iconic red rays leading energetically from center to edges. Ensuring that there’s no ambiguity about who’s sponsoring this piece, “American Arms Ind.” appears within the border of the Imperial Glory shield. Fairy created this piece to play lighter in contrast to the accompanying Power.

As any Pop Art collector will discern, Power is a pure channeling of Lichtenstein. This work is a masterful comic book frame demonstrating the ease at which one can wield military might. It’s as if viewing 1950s ad for an aerosol can that’s conveniently employed to rid oneself of pesky enemies! What an enjoyable piece of Contemporary Art – whimsical, nostalgic and heavy simultaneously.

If you’re a Pop Art collector, visit with us at VFA and see these and other newly acquired Shepard Fairey prints. If you’re seeking works by Fairey or any Pop, Op or Abstract Expressionist Artists, feel free to contact us for assistance.

Shepard Fairey and Bobby Grossman Collaboration

My friend, photographer Bobby Grossman, with whom I collaborated on a Debbie Harry portrait, is having a show of his awesome photography from 1975-1983. The show is called LOW FIDELITY and opens tonight in Boca Raton FL. There will also be a book of the works in the show available. Check it out.-Shepard

When I wanted to make a painting of Debbie Harry, I thought of Bobby Grossman because he made my favorite photograph of her. Debbie is a stylish, photogenic woman who became very comfortable in front of a camera. The beauty of Bobby’s Debbie Harry “Pepsi” photo is that it captures the natural, casual-­‐cool, Debbie exuded when she wasn’t posing. The image is wholly engaging, gorgeous, and absolutely real. It seems to me that Bobby saw importance in his subjects, and captured them organically, before they perfected their poses. Bobby was personally immersed in the culture he documented, and photographed his subjects in their element, when they were not self-­‐conscious.

Bobby’s photos make me feel validated to like the music I like because he caught authentic moments in the lives of so many of my favorite artists.

Shepard Fairey
5-­‐15-­‐11

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