OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey – Milan, Italy

Milan, Italy
May 16, 2024

For info and ticket: www.obeymilano.it

Cattedrale – Fabbrica del Vapore, Via Giulio Cesare Procaccini, 4, 20154 Milan
May 16 – October 27, 2024
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10:00am – 7:30pm

The first solo exhibition of Shepard Fairey (OBEY) in Italy at Fabbrica del Vapore

OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey brings to Italy for the first time a museum exhibition entirely dedicated to Shepard Fairey (OBEY), one of the most influential and internationally recognized street artists, whose art has shown the evolution of Street Art and its languages. The exhibition, on view from May 16 to 27 October 2024, in the Cattedrale spaces at Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, offers the public an unprecedented opportunity to explore Obey’s artistic universe.

The exhibition is curated by the artist and Wunderkammern gallery co-produced by Fabbrica del Vapore with the support of the City of Milan.

OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey is a visual and conceptual journey through the artist’s 35-year career, featuring a rich collection of works personally selected by him. Alongside a body of works representing the essence of his artistic production, numerous uniquenever-before-seen pieces, conceived especially for the occasion, will be showcased in the special section of new works within the exhibition path.

Shepard Fairey (Charleston, 1970) is the artist behind Obey. Best known for the “HOPE” poster, a portrait of Barack Obama and an emblem of the 2008 presidential campaign, Obey’s style is essential and bold, with a minimalist palette, influenced by the hip-hop and punk cultures. These cultures have taught the artist to challenge social conventions. This is the ethos Fairey infuses into all his artworks, inviting the audience to question and take a stance on current issues of great relevance.

The five sections of the Milan exhibition draw inspiration from the most iconic themes in Shepard Fairey’s art: propagandapeace and justicemusicenvironmental and new works. Through an immersive experience specially designed for Fabbrica del Vapore, each section will provide the viewer with the street artist’s unique perspective, encouraging deep reflection.

The exhibition opens with works featuring images and iconic, evocative symbols from the renowned OBEY campaign through which the artist elevated Street Art to a powerful expression medium. Continuing through the artworks of the peace and justice section, Shepard Fairey, leveraging the power of images, focuses on themes such as human rights, abuse of power, war and peace. Great attention is given to the latter theme, closely intertwined with the selection of Fabbrica del Vapore as the venue for his first solo exhibition in Italy: a former local transport company manufacturing railway and tramway equipment, during World Wars I and II itrefused to convert its production to war-related products.

Appealing and impactful are the works in the environmental section, where the artist aims to initiate a dialogue with the viewer, reminding them of the importance of collective efforts in safeguarding our planet.

“Humanity seems to be in a perpetual state of conflict. Peace requires us to pursue harmony with thoughtful vigilance. I’m a pacifist. I believe in solutions to disagreements that avoid violence. We are an intelligent species capable of cooperation and solving problems without violence. When I look at humanity in general, most people want to live in peace. The majority of my art focuses on issues of justice, and an outcome of improved justice is a more equal, fair, and peaceful society. Through my art, I want to remind people of the equal humanity of all people, regardless of their race, religion, nation, or culture. There is no us versus them; there is only us.” – Shepard Fairey

Finally, the artist’s universal message is also expressed in the music section. Fairey admires the universality and accessibility of this art form. He himself cites musical groups such as the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Bob Marley, and Public Enemy as his primary sources of inspiration.

The exhibition is promoted by the City of Milan in collaboration with Wunderkammern and Deodato Group, co-produced by Fabbrica del Vapore. Organized and curated by Wunderkammern. Main Sponsor: BOEM, Sponsor: MTN, Radio Partner: Radio 105, Media Partner: Artuu Magazine, In collaboration with: Rinascente, Technical Sponsor: BIG Broker Insurance Group / CiaccioArte.