The ever-gentrifying Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles is home to lots of large-scale street art, including this classic Shepard Fairey politically-tinged mural on Alameda Street behind the Angel City Brewery. The artwork depicts the late U.S. president Ronald Reagan holding a sign that says “Legislative influence for sale.” Its message — and politically expressive art in general — strongly resonates in the current American political climate.
We spotted some new street art from artist Shepard Fairey in an unusual spot last week. Along Pacific Coast Highway, under the towering bluffs of north Santa Monica, there’s an abandoned, partially destroyed retaining wall where two new black-and-white graphic posters had been wheat-pasted. One poster is of draped triangle of the American flag. The other is a classic “Andre” Obey poster.
In 2008 street artist and designer Shepard Fairey created a colorful poster depicting then U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama with a single-word message “Hope” written on it. The image had a graphic, illustrative quality and was based on a press photo of the candidate. The poster was an instant classic of graphic design and became an important piece of the Obama campaign’s visual communications arsenal. Obama’s winning of the 2008 election sealed the poster’s iconic status. Eight years later, in the final year of Obama’s presidency, we stumbled upon an updated version of the same poster image on a rubbish bin in Venice, Los Angeles. Now the same iconic image is rendered in black-and-white version and instead of “Hope,” the word “History” is written across the bottom. The phrase “dustbin of history” comes to mind. Is the fact that the sticker is on a garbage bin a political statement?
Our contributing editor Ryan Baum came across this super awesome mural by the ever-prolific Shepard Fairey at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) in Providence, Rhode Island. Fairey’s artwork here is site specific, drawing from local architectural imagery and referencing the city’s important industrial history. Great stuff.
Ryan Baum images. All rights reserved.
We were riding down the Speedway today when we saw this piece by Shepard Fairey peering at us from behind a chain-linked fence near the intersection with Brooks Court in Venice, in Los Angeles. The wheat-paste appears on the facade of a condemned building overlooking an equally barren courtyard. We couldn’t help but notice the eyes faintly concealed by the irony of a “No Trespassing” sign.