Top 5 Moments of 2014

December 31, 2014

1). Halsey Institute of Contemporary Design (May, 2014)

The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns – “This show with the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art in Charleston, S.C. amplified my focus on the decline of the “American Dream.” Showing with the Halsey for the second time was great because they championed my work when I was far less established, and I like to be loyal to those who have supported me. I also think it was a great opportunity to show how my work has evolved in the last dozen or so years, and Jasper Johns is one of my all-time favorite artists, so it was an incredible honor to show alongside him.” Read more here.

Photo by Jon Furlong

2). Johannesburg Nelson Mandela Mural (September, 2014)
“I’m an advocate of human rights, justice, and equality, so it should be obvious why Nelson Mandela is a hero of mine. Some people seem confused by the use of purple and the slogan on my Mandela mural but they reference the anti Apartheid Purple Protest that you can read about here:” Check out pictures of the mural here.


3). Saying Farewell to Freedom / Stephen Colbert (December, 2014)
“When Stephen asked me if I’d be one of the guests on his farewell show of The Colbert Report, I was incredibly flattered, but when I was also asked to do a graphic for the final episode, I was humbled. The pressure to do something strong for the FINAL Colbert episode was daunting. With Stephen everything has to be over-the-top, hyperbolic, life-imitates-art or art-imitates-life (who knows which?) ego-driven absurdity, so we conceived an image that would aspire to the grandeur of his final skit.” Read more from Shepard here.


4). Art Alliance: The Provocateurs (July, 2014) – The Art Alliance Provocateurs show featured 200 plus pieces of fine art by 43 artists, alongside print sets, music programming, and murals, to coincide with the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago. “A great thing about music is how democratic it can be…Art is increasingly about straddling worlds. That makes it a natural fit for music, which is doing a lot of those same things. Barriers between so-called high and low art are not so much there now. The time seems right for music audiences — full of creative-minded people — to be in tune with what is happening not only in the fine-art world but with posters, street art, works that are extensions of fashion.” Check out photos from the show here.

Photo by Jon Furlong

5). 50 Shades of Black (April, 2014) – 50 Shades of Black featured 50 Hand Painted Multiples (HPMs) and a box set with screen print editions of each of the 50 new album cover designs. A record store installation with customized vintage turntables and a portion of Fairey’s own record collection on view. Viewers could participate in the exhibition by selecting records from Fairey’s collection and playing them on the provided record players while visiting the gallery. The exhibit took place at Subliminal Projects gallery located in Los Angeles, CA. “Music is visceral, but also has the additional powerful layers of the lyrics, with their content and politics, and then there’s also the style and personalities of the musicians themselves. Compelling album covers have always been a great complement to great music. I was honored to have so many great people come to the opening and blown away to have The Shrine, Z-Trip and LL Cool J performing together in my gallery parking lot!” – Shepard. More from the show.

Photo by Jon Furlong
*All quotes by Shepard Fairey