September 30, 2015

DETAILS Magazine asked Shepard to create a playlist inspired by 14 of some choice comments made at the last Republican Party presidential debate. Click below to check it out!

Shepard Fairey Made Us a Playlist Inspired by GOP Quotes

“I’ve always been more inspired by music than art.”


Getty Images

Image courtesy: Getty Images

The last time street artist Shepard Fairey held an art exhibition was only two years after he gained mainstream recognition for his famous Barack Obama “Hope” poster during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. As we gear up for an already bonkers 2016 election cycle, Fairey’s new exhibition, “On Our Hands,” is striking a decidedly less optimistic chord. Opened at New York’s Jacob Lewis Gallery on September 17, the show tackles themes of failed democracy and corporate greed. “I feel frustrated but not apathetic,” Fairey says of the past 26 years he’s spent commenting on the state of the global community. “I’m driven by problem solving even when the odds are great so any slip towards apathy would feel like giving up on life for me.” “On Our Hands” is also Fairey’s ongoing attempt to reconcile what gives him creative pleasure with what is important to say. His techniques are more sophisticated and subtle this time around, exploring both tight rendering and looser juxtapositions. But the message is as provoking as ever.

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The exhibition isn’t the only thing on Fairey’s hands. Tomorrow Rizzoli will release his book Covert to Overt: The Under/Overground Art of Shepard Fairey, which features essays from Shepard, Russell Brand, Pedro Alonzo, D*FACE, Billy Idol, Jello Biafra, and photographer/Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. Then there’s the Detroit incident. In July Fairey was arrested for “malicious destruction of property” while working on a commissioned Motor City mural.
While in town for his opening, Fairey sat down with Stein at New York’s NeueHouse to discuss the book, the exhibition, the fusion of art and commerce (it’s fine as long as you don’t change the DNA of your art), and Bernie Sanders (“He needs personality. But I like his ideas.”) Since music inspired Fairey to create art in the first place, we asked him to make us a playlist that would incite, inspire, or just make us laugh. As creative stimulus, we found the 14 of the most ridiculous comments made at the last Republican Party presidential debate. He paired a song for each one.

Team America: “Fuck Yeah”
Jeb Bush: “As it relates to my brother, there’s one thing I know for sure. He kept us safe.”

Peter Tosh: “Legalize It”
Jeb Bush: “40 years ago I smoked marijuana, and I admit it… My mom’s not happy that I just did.”

The Beatles: “Back in the USSR”
Carly Fiorina: “Having met Vladimir Putin, I wouldn’t talk to him at all. We’ve talked way too much to him.”

Martha Reeves & The Vandellas: “Heat Wave”
Marco Rubio on climate change: “America is not a planet!”

Christian Lunch: “Joke’s On You”
Scott Walker: “We need to live in an America where we have an economy where everyone can live their piece of the American dream.”

Devo: “Mongaloid”
Mike Huckabee: “The most dangerous person in the room is the person who doesn’t know what he doesn’t know.”

The Clash: “The Magnificent Seven”
Carly Fiorina: “If someone’s been in the system their whole life, they don’t know how broken the system is.”

Alice Cooper: “Billion Dollar Babies”
Ben Carson on not being bankrolled: “I, in no way, am willing to get into bed with special interest groups or lick the boots of billionaires.”

Blondie: “One Way Or Another”
Rand Paul: “I want to collect more records from terrorists but less records from innocent Americans”

John Lennon: “Power to the People”
Chris Christie: “Leadership is not about me or anyone on this stage. It’s about the American people.”

Carly Simon: “You’re So Vain”
Donald Trump on Carly Fiorina: “I think she’s got a beautiful face, and I think she’s a beautiful woman.”

The Misfits: “Brain Eaters”
Ben Carson: “I’m the only one to take out half of a brain, although you would think, if you go to Washington, that someone had beat me to it.”

Iggy & The Stooges: “I Got a Right”
Jeb Bush: “As governor of the state of Florida, I defunded Planned Parenthood. I created a culture of life in my state.”

Styx: “Mr. Roboto”
Scott Walker: “I’m a guy with a wife and two kids and a Harley. One article called me ‘aggressively normal.'”

Click here to read the article on DETAILS Magazine’s website.