I have been looking back through art and photos from my 30 year history as I work on the art for my “Facing the Giant: Three Decades of Dissent” show and I was inspired to make a painting and print inspired by a photo I took of a “Hello My Name Is” paste-up I did in SOHO NYC back in early 1996. At that time I was still living in Providence R.I. running my screen printing studio, barely scraping by financially. I was desperately trying to survive but also kept putting my imagery up in the streets. I had recently fallen in love with Russian Constructivist design, which along with Barbara Kruger’s art, and much of American advertising, used primarily red, black, and white, so I began designing in those colors to keep my art cost-effective and visually cohesive. I was screen printing posters in red and black ink on white paper, but I was ecstatic when a friend and ‘zine maker Ben Woodward taught me how to rig the copiers at Kinko’s (now known as FedEx Office) with a paperclip to yield free copies. The Kinko’s near my apartment in Providence had copiers with a red toner cartridge AND a black toner cartridge… meaning that I could make 11×17 inch red and black mini-posters free if I was stealth about it. The “Hello My Name Is” paste-up in this print is one of those 11×17 copies and was inspired by the pervasive use of “Hello My Name Is” stickers with tags on them by graffiti writers. I loved all the graffiti and stickers in NYC, so this paste-up was a tribute to that world and one of my last images using the O.G. Giant face as I was transitioning to the Icon Face and Star as my main iconography. I threw a couple of other early images of mine in for extra texture and flavor. – Shepard
Hello My Name Is. Screenprint on cream Speckletone Paper. 18 x 24 inches. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 550. $45. Available Thursday, May 9th @ 10 AM PDT at store.obeygiant.com/collections/prints. Max order: 1 per customer/household. *Orders are not guaranteed as demand is high and inventory is limited.* Multiple orders will be refunded. International customers are responsible for import fees due upon delivery.