Posts Tagged ‘Shepard Fairey’
A wise man once said “writing about art is like dancing about architecture,” but in a world where oceans of self-aggrandizing “artspeak” usually says much about an author’s ego and little to nothing about artwork itself, Supertouch‘s own resident legendary art writer CARLO McCORMICK is the exception to the rule. This month finds him penning an incredibly astute piece on SHEPARD FAIREY for ART IN AMERICA from the rarified perspective of a genuinely street-level art world insider more at home on the Bowery than in Chelsea. At a time when the slow-moving mainstream art world and its legion of stiff-jointed scribes are playing years of painful catch-up on the “street art” game, this is a must-read:
By Carlo McCormick | Art in America
In a thank-you note written by Barack Obama to street artist Shepard Fairey for the pictorial provocateur’s singular contribution to branding his campaign for the presidency, the then senator wrote: “The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe that they can help change the status-quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign.”
High praise indeed from such a highly regarded public figure. But what it ultimately says—that there is a cultural equivalence between fine art shown in established venues and artistic expressions put up illegally on private or government property—represents a tacit sanction of street art from the leader of the free world that is a dramatic shift in the perceived role of art as a radical tool of social intervention.
Emblazoned in our collective mind’s eye as a defining icon of optimism and change, Fairey’s Obama Hope poster, certainly one of his most endearing and personable images, is such a signature work that the original collage was recently acquired by the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, and related images graced the covers of Time and Esquire. It is, however, not a fleeting pop-culture sensation but simply the latest crossover hit in a long line of underground classics.
Fairey has made such an indelible mark on our visual landscape that it is difficult to avoid the platitudes we might otherwise eschew in the discourse of contemporary art. As he comes under greater scrutiny from the art establishment with a major retrospective of his work, now on view at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art, it is worth noting that his renown has grown organically from the streets and a global youth culture that the mainstream art world has only a vague grasp of. Click HERE to continue reading…
To officially launch the LIVESTRONG "Stages" benefit art show (full details below) powered by NIKE that will debut during LANCE ARMSTRONG's run in this year's TOUR DE FRANCE, an epic kickoff celebration was held on Saturday nite at Nike's MONTALBAN THEATER in the heart of Hollywood.Read More
Launching tonite at NIKE‘s MONTALBAN THEATER is news of the upcoming “Stages” art show that will debut in July at GALERIE EMMANUEL PERROTIN in Paris during LANCE ARMSTRONG‘s run in this year’s TOUR DE FRANCE. An exhibition curated to reflect the personal art collecting tastes of Lance himself, the exhibition was developed by Nike to illustrate LIVESTRONG‘s expanded global outreach in the fight against cancer and as a means of engaging the creative community in the shared struggle. Launching on July 16th, the show will feature nearly thirty original artworks reflecting on some aspect of the cancer struggle by a diverse roster of emerging and established artists including ED RUSCHA, RAYMOND PETTIBON, KAWS, ROSSON CROW, JR, TARYN SIMON, CHRISTOPHER WOOL, JULES DE BALINCOURT, SHEPARD FAIREY, JOSE PARLA, AARON YOUNG, MARC NEWSON, KENNY SCHARF, OS GEMEOS, YOSHITOMO NARA, ERIC WHITE, and DZINE, to name just a few. To highlight the event, Lance will be riding a special series of “art bikes” in the Tour de France created in collaboration with TREK and designed by none other than modern art and design masters MARC NEWSON, TAKASHI MURAKAMI, and DAMIEN HIRST. To put a giant face on the campaign, SHEPARD FAIREY wrapped the side of the Montalban theater in his new artwork for Livestrong depicting Lance as the two-wheeled cancer fighting machine that he was born to be. Stay tuned for more “Stages” details coming from ST soon…
Our man SHEPARD FAIREY has been under a lot of scrutiny in the public eye since he opened fire on the ASSOCIATED PRESS last month with a lawsuit refuting a claim by the AP to the rights to his guerilla OBAMA campaign artwork because his portrait of the then-president elect was based on a photo allegedly under the domain of the photo agency. Leading the charge for the protection of “fair use” rights for all artists, Fairey is prepared to go all the way in his legal battle with pro bono support from the STANFORD LAW SCHOOL FAIR USE PROJECT. Last week, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO‘s TERRY GROSS interviewed Shepard extensively on the subject, which can be heard in its entirety (25 minutes) HERE.
Apparently, CBS SUNDAY MORNING is officially in the “Street Art” game now, following up their recent KAWS profile with a new segment this morning on SHEPARD FAIREY. Unfortunately the MILF-tastic Serena Altschul wasn’t tapped to helm the piece, but the awesome animated spray paint can intro and robotic suburban housewife narration provide ample entertainment nonetheless. The most amazing revelation of the segment? Aside from the gray hair, Shepard still looks almost identical to his elementary school portrait…
This morning, SHEPARD FAIREY appeared in Roxbury District Court in Boston where he pleaded not guilty to vandalizing property in the city and was released on personal recognizance after his arraignment. He still faces charges in a separate case for other alleged vandalism that he will appear at Brighton District Court to enter a plea on soon. Meanwhile, read more about Shepard’s Boston arrest at the BOSTON PHOENIX & THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
RELATED STORY: “Timing questioned by artist in arrests,” Boston Herald
The drama heats up in SHEPARD FAIREY‘s fight with the ASSOCIATED PRESS after the agency filed a lawsuit last week claiming rights to the artist’s BARACK OBAMA campaign imagery after learning the work was based on an existing AP photo. Today, THE FAIR USE PROJECT at STANFORD LAW SCHOOL’S CENTER FOR INTERNET AND SOCIETY (who is working Fairey’s case pro bono) and San Francisco-based law firm DURIE TANGRI LEMLEY ROBERTS & KENT LLP filed a counter suit against the Associated Press on Fairey’s behalf:
“The Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society and San Francisco-based Durie Tangri Lemley Roberts & Kent LLP filed a lawsuit today against the Associated Press (AP) on behalf of Shepard Fairey and his production company Obey Giant Art, Inc. in connection with the series of iconic works Fairey created to support the candidacy of President Barack Obama.
Last week, the AP accused Fairey of infringing copyrights it says it holds in a photograph that was taken of Barack Obama by photographer Mannie Garcia at the National Press Club in 2006. The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks a declaration from the Court holding that Fairey did not infringe AP’s copyrights in creating the now-famous Obama Hope poster and other related works, as well as an injunction against further assertion of copyrights by the AP against Fairey or anyone else who displays his work.
“There should be no doubt about the legality of Fairey’s work,” said Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project and lecturer in law at Stanford Law School, who is leading Fairey’s legal team. “He used the photograph for a purpose entirely different than the original, and transformed it dramatically. The original photograph is a literal depiction of Obama, whereas Fairey’s poster creates powerful new meaning and conveys a radically different message that has no analogue in the original photograph. Nor has Fairey done any harm to the value of the original photograph. Quite the opposite; Fairey has made the photograph immeasurably more valuable.” Click HERE to continue reading…
You’d literally have to be living under a rock lately to have not heard the news that Supertouch‘s SHEPARD FAIREY is currently being sued by the ASSOCIATED PRESS for his use of an image the agency is now claiming dominion over after the artist used it to create the most iconic piece of American political art of all time. Today, the esteemed HUFFINGTON POST is pulling the AP’s card with Jonathan Melber holding the pen:
THE AP HAS NO CASE AGAINST SHEPARD FAIREY
By Jonathan Melber
(Co-author of “ART/WORK: Everything You Need to Know (And Do) As You Pursue Your Art Career”)
Huffington Post, February 8, 2009
A few days ago, the Associated Press announced that Obama’s famous HOPE poster amounts to copyright infringement. The artist behind the poster, Shepard Fairey, has never hidden the fact that he based his iconic creation on a photograph he found through Google. The AP thinks it owns the copyright to that photograph, since Mannie Garcia was freelancing for the AP when he shot it. With posters sold out, a special edition in the National Portrait Gallery, and major exhibitions in New York and Boston, the AP wants in on the windfall.
But the AP would very likely lose this case if it ever ended up in court. That’s because, under copyright law, Fairey’s work almost certainly qualifies as “fair use” of Garcia’s photograph.
The term “fair use” gets batted around a lot, often incorrectly, and so deserves some explanation. At the most general level, copyright law prohibits you from copying another person’s original creative work. That means you’re typically not allowed to create work using someone else’s original unless you pay that person. “Fair use” is an exception to this rule: it says that sometimes you don’t have to pay someone to use his or her original work. Whether you do–that is, whether your new work qualifies as “fair use”–depends on what, exactly, the original work is, how much of it you’re using, how you transform it, and whether your new work hurts the commercial market for the original. (Note that the issue has nothing to do with whether anyone thinks your use is “fair.”)
By far the most important factor is how you transform the original work–but, contrary to popular belief, the transformation that really matters is the conceptual one, not the physical one.
Take, for example, an influential 2006 decision vindicating Jeff Koons. A fashion photographer named Andrea Blanch sued Koons for using a picture of hers in one of his paintings without paying her. Koons had scanned her photograph, which she had taken for a Gucci ad, and cut and pasted it into a digital composition he then painted. The federal appeals court said that Koons didn’t need to pay Blanch to do what he did, because of how thoroughly Koons had transformed the photograph. Click HERE to continue reading…
Supertouch‘s own SHEPARD FAIREY was arrested for alleged vandalism claims while attempting to enter the grand public opening of his first museum solo show at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON last nite. Currently he’s out on bail and awaiting a court appearance in Boston on Monday:
“A street artist famous for his red, white and blue “Hope” posters of President Obama was arrested in Boston, where he was wanted on warrants for tagging property with graffiti.
Shepard Fairey, 38, was arrested Friday night on his way to the Institute of Contemporary Art. Fairey was scheduled to deejay a kickoff event at the museum for his first-ever solo exhibition, called “Supply and Demand.”
Two warrants were issued for Fairey on Jan. 24 after police determined he’d tagged property in two locations with graffiti based on the Andre the Giant street art campaign from his early career, Boston Police Officer James Kenneally said Saturday.
Fairey, of Los Angeles, is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charges Monday in Brighton District Court, said Jake Wark, a spokesman for the Suffolk District Attorney. Wark said Fairey would also be arraigned on a default warrant related to a separate graffiti case in the Roxbury section of Boston.
Fairey has spent the last two weeks in the Boston area installing the ICA exhibit, giving public talks and creating outdoor art, including a 20-by-50 foot banner on the side of City Hall, according to a statement issued Saturday by the ICA.
The museum described the reason for Fairey’s arrest as “his efforts posting his art in various areas around the city.”
“We believe Shepard Fairey has made an important contribution in the history of art and to popular thinking about art and its role in society,” the statement said. “We are enthusiastic to be working with him and are pleased to be showing the first museum retrospective of his work.”
The museum said Fairey was released a few hours after his arrest, but that could not immediately be confirmed by authorities. A California lawyer who has represented Fairey in the copyright case didn’t immediately respond to an e-mail seeking comment on the arrest.” Click HERE to continue reading…
Our own SHEPARD FAIREY has been a near constant presence on Supertouch of late, but what can we say, the last year has belonged to him. Capping off an epic string of career milestones beginning with his street level branding of the Obama campaign to being inducted into the Smithsonian and the attendant media blitz that ensued–most famously with his appearances on The Colbert Report and Charlie Rose, Ol’ Shep managed to cap it all off last nite with the VIP preview of his career retrospective art show “Supply & Demand” at the INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART/BOSTON. Of course there were even more media microphones and cameras there (that’s after doing two days of press before hand), but this time so was his loyal legion of diehard fans, which made it all worthwhile. Just to up the irony factor, local government just unveiled a massive Shepard mural outside the entrance of historic City Hall with the Mayor presiding over the occasion. Looks like art crime pays after all. HAVE A LOOK: Read More