shepard fairey: may day at deitch projects
 
shepard fairey: may day at deitch projects shepard fairey: may day at deitch projects
may 06, 2010

shepard fairey: may day at deitch projects

shepard fairey: may day deitch projects, new york on now until may 29th, 2010

artist shepard fairy is currently exhibiting a solo show of his work entitled ‘may day’ at the deitch projects in new york. known for his propoganda-like imagery, the title of fairey’s show brings about multiple meanings of the term, which are expressed throughout his new body of work.

arab woman, 2007 8 x 10 feet mural installation mixed media on canvas image courtesy of deitch projects

the exhibition opening coincided with the actual ‘may day’ of may 1st, which nearly 100 countries observe as an international worker’s day or labor day – a day of political demonstrations and celebrations coordinated by unions and socialist groups. the day commemorates the 1886 haymarket massacre in chicago, when a peace rally supporting workers on strike was disrupted by a bomb, and a barrage of police gunfire. fairey believes that it is a day in which we should express our frustrations with the upper powers, but also a day in which activists should pursue ideals.

nineteeneightyfouria, 2007 10 x 14 feet mural installation mixed media on canvas image courtesy of deitch projects

his body of work critiques corporate propoganda, pushes for renewable energy and supports free speech and the bemoaning of the U.S. political party system. through these most recent pieces, fairey captures the spirit of his subjects, using portraiture to celebrate artists, musicians and political activists he most admires:

‘these people I’m portraying were all revolutionary, in one sense or another. they started out on the margins of culture and ended up changing the mainstream. when we celebrate big steps that were made in the past, it reminds us that big steps can be made in the future.‘ – shepard fairey

evolve devolve, 2008 52 x 72 inches stencil and mixed media collage on canvas image courtesy of deitch projects

‘may day’ also refers to the distress signal used by pilots, police and firefighters in time of emergency. the sounding of the alarm brings a feeling of help, that hope is on the way. ‘…if we make noise, if we put our ideas out there, then maybe we can make a change like the people in the portraits have done.‘ – shepard fairey

l: aung san suu kyi, 2009, 44 x 60 inches, stencil and mixed media collage on canvas r: burmese monk, 2009, 44 x 60 inches, stencil and mixed media collage on canvas images courtesy of deitch projects

two sides of captialism (certificate), 2007 11 x 17 feet mural installation mixed media on panel photo by adam wallcavage

two sides of captialism (ransom note), 2007 11 x 17 feet mural installation mixed media on panel photo by adam wallcavage

jaws wave, 2009 44 x 60 inches stencil and mixed media collage on canvas image courtesy of deitch projects

‘may day’, installation view photo by adam reich image courtesy of deitch projects

‘may day’, installation view photo by adam reich image courtesy of deitch projects

‘may day’, installation view photo by adam reich image courtesy of deitch projects

‘may day’, installation view photo by adam reich image courtesy of deitch projects

view of exhibition set-up photo by furlong

view of exhibition set-up photo by furlong

‘may day’ mural located at houston street and bowery, new york image courtesy of deitch projects

coinciding with his exhibition is the presentation of shepard fairey’s ‘may day’ mural, made possible by goldman properties and deitch projects. the piece incorporates images and themes which can be found in his most fine art and street art projects, addressing contemporary political themes. the american flag and target reference the iconic paintings of jasper johns. the newspaper and mayday megaphone advertisement pay tribute to andy warhol’s renditions of the subject matter and also incorporates smaller images of decorative patterns.

exhibition poster

exhibition poster

shepard fairey in front of the ‘may day’ mural portrait by furlong

  • great projects!

    vae says:
  • and the hype machine goes on and and on. fairey, do yourself a favour and get a job

    olaf says:
  • maybe the least profound work ever, but his colourschemes are beautiful and so distinctive.

    pedro says:
  • Distinctive indeed! Keep it up!

    tt says:

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