Library Street Collective is thrilled to announce an upcoming exhibition in LA with artist/activist Shepard Fairey in his most ambitious show to date, aptly titled DAMAGED. It’s been nearly 10 years since Fairey’s last solo exhibition in his hometown of Los Angeles and the iconic HOPE imagery he created for then Presidential candidate Barack Obama. In this unprecedented political climate, Fairey’s message has changed from hope to purpose: “DAMAGED is an honest diagnosis, but diagnosis is the first step to recognizing and solving problems. I definitely think that art can be part of the solution because it can inspire people to look at an issue they might otherwise ignore or reject.”
Of late, Fairey has shifted more towards making artwork based on critical issues and less on distinct figures as he has in the past. DAMAGED still contains the portraits we know and love, but the people he illustrates are representative of diverse Americans most affected by current policies and social issues, rather than recognizable personas of prominence. Advocacy is something the artist has always encouraged through his art making and his many social, political and humanitarian platforms: “When greed and indifference are the status quo, it’s time for conversation.”
DAMAGED also takes aim at another hindrance to reformative communication: social media. For what should be the most meaningful platform for important discussion ever created, discourse has fallen secondary to self-indulgence and celebrity: “Even prior to the election, I’ve been troubled by the social media mentality of ‘construct your own reality’ in superficial terms, at least. The internet and social media are valuable for democratization, but as Marshall McLuhan warned with his—”the medium is the message”—the rapid pace and temporary nature of social media can lead to throwaway approaches from the consumer and the creator…”
Library Street Collective owner Anthony Curis has worked with Fairey on past exhibitions and murals in Detroit, as well as held an event for the artist’s Make America Smart Again campaign leading up to the election. The gallery is heartened by the artist’s activism and unique place in the art world: “For Shepard, the goal has always been to reach as many people as possible, whether by walking down the street and coming across a mural or sticker; scrolling through social media; or taking home a print, edition, or original painting. Fairey’s work is ubiquitous because the ideas it communicates are severely lacking in all the places we look for it most.”
DAMAGED will be on view in downtown Los Angeles from November 11 through December 17, 2017, with location details to be announced soon. The public opening will take place from 8:00 to 11:00pm on November 11 and RSVP is mandatory for entry. Please click HERE to apply for an invitation.
Join the event and share on Facebook HERE.
For more information and to access an upcoming catalog of works, please email [email protected].
LIBRARY STREET COLLECTIVE
Library Street Collective specializes in cutting edge contemporary fine art with a focus on emerging and established artists who have pushed the boundaries of traditional medium and exhibition space. Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, we present regular group and solo exhibitions while contributing to the artistic renaissance of the city’s public, private, and heritage spaces. It is our mission to bring both world-renowned artists and exciting new work to a reimagined Detroit, as well as carry this sentiment as we expand our presence through exhibitions, special projects and art fairs nationally and internationally.
Shepard Fairey’s work and practice disrupts the distinction between fine and commercial art. He has become widely known since the 2008 US presidential election for his Barack Obama “Hope” and Inauguration poster that hangs at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Fairey rose to prominence in the early 1990s, through the dispersion of posters and stickers that were labeled as “Andre the Giant has a Posse” which would later relate to his Obey Giant Campaign. Today the work is now regarded as an international phenomenon, having changed the language between art and the urban landscape.
Fairey sits on the advisory board of ‘Reaching to Embrace the Arts’, a nonprofit organization that provides art supplies to priority schools; and in 2007, he joined the board of the ‘Music Is Revolution Foundation’, a nonprofit organization that supports music education for public schools and for which he created a logo. In 2014, Fairey painted a towering mural paying tribute to Nelson Mandela and the 25th anniversary of the Purple Rain Protest in Johannesburg, overlooking the Nelson Mandela Bridge. He has always been open about controversial social and political topics and often creates or donates artwork in order to promote awareness for various social issues.
Fairey’s works have been exhibited in numerous public and private institutions, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Smithsonian Museum, and the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego and the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art.