This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

22May/10

SHEPARD FAIREY: MAY DAY

Shepard Fairey show will close Deitch Projects in SoHo (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Deitch Projects, 18 Wooster St., through May 29
Mural wall, Broadway & Houston St., through December
Ace Hotel, Broadway & Houston St.
Cooper Square Hotel, East Fifth St. at Third Ave.
Admission: free
www.deitch.com
www.obeygiant.com
shepard fairey slideshow

L.A.-based street artist is all over New York this month. He’s featured prominently in the Banksy movie EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP, has designed several murals throughout the city, and is currently staging the final show at Deitch Projects in SoHo. Fairey, who is proud of “manufacturing quality dissent since 1989,” is celebrating May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day, with these series of works, commenting on labor rights, social unrest, government interference, corporate domination, and the continuing struggle for artistic, political, and personal freedom. At Deitch, he has hung dozens of portraits of such icons as Neil Young, Keith Haring, Bob Dylan, jimi Hendrix, Cornel West, Woody Guthrie, John & Yoko, Joe Strummer, and the Dalai Lama as well as political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi, a Burmese monk, Arab women, and other revolutionary figures.

Shepard Fairey gets political in series of works all over city (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

His black-and-red color scheme relates to Soviet propaganda posters, evoking a powerful mix of capitalism and totalitarianism, while also sometimes adding Arabic designs that have a strong potency post-9/11. The Obey Giant creator has also included a stunning painting of a deserted gas station, a beautiful blue wave, and a large mural that calls for people to raise their voices and fight the system. The mural is similar to outdoor projects that he has installed at Broadway and Houston and on a temporary wooden wall along the Ace Hotel at 29th and Broadway; in addition, he has another piece on the side of the Cooper Square Hotel on Third Ave. On the murals, a newspaper article proclaims, “Right wing denies science of climate change,” artist Jasper Johns sits with a target on his chest, Arab women hide parts of their faces, roses emerge from rifles, and a police officer says, “I’m gonna kick your ass . . . and get away with it!” The show at Deitch runs through May 29, while the Broadway & Houston mural continues through the end of the year.

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