Shepard Fairey Guest DJ on KCRW

August 02, 2009

UPDATE, 8/3: If  you missed Shepard on the KCRW,  you can hear the session and read the interview in the archives here:

Shepard Fairey is going to be a guest DJ on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic Tomorrow (7/29, Wednesday) at 11:15 am (PST). If you don’t live in Los Angeles you can listen live here tomorrow. For more information please visit kcrw’s website.

Shepard Fairey Guest DJ’s on KCRW

The famed artist joined Jason Bentley on Morning Becomes Eclectic

Street artist Shepard Fairey appeared as a Guest DJ on KCRW’s signature music show Morning Becomes Eclectic in a session that is now available online in the archives at, with a transcript, here:

Shepard delved into his history and rise in the art world, his work for the Obama campaign, his process – as both an artist and a DJ – and shed some light on some recent legal entanglements that have made news headlines in his interview with KCRW Music Director Jason Bentley.

In a nod to his arrest in Boston earlier this year (which coincided with a 20-year survey of his work by the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art), Shepard kicked his set off with the original version of “Police on My Back” by the Equals, followed by a song representing his current state of mind at the moment — Black Flag’s “Rise Above,” with vocals by KCRW’s own Henry Rollins. He also clarified the motivation behind his work.

“My work’s never been about the idea of just doing illegal stuff because I don’t care about private property. The idea is that the work is populist. I want to share it with people in a venue that I think is appropriate for expression, and it’s really a free speech issue and an access issue, not a legal vs. illegal issue.”

Shepard also played some mash ups which he called his “minimal forays into music production,” featuring Led Zeppelin, Eric B and Rakim, Generation X, and the Ramones.

“I became addicted to DJing because it has the same rewarding problem-solving aspects as design and, in fact, its even more fun because your listening to great stuff as you’re figuring out how to put it together in a way that works — that’s both sharing something that people may know, but also combining it in a new way that they’re not expecting, so it’s that double-up punch.”

The music lover said it was a shame for “art to not really affect people on a gut level and break through the way music does.” He said his provocative and powerful approach is designed to overcome that.

Shepard became an international phenomenon after creating the “Hope” poster for the Obama campaign, but he was a renowned street artist long before that. His illustrations are now included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and The Smithsonian in Washington. Hear the session and read the interview in the archives here:

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