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 is on view Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-6pm at Library Street Collective (1650 Naud Street) in Los Angeles from November 11 through December 17, 2017.
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