Shepard Fairey discusses future projects at L.A. Live party

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On Wednesday evening, Shepard Fairey and a few other street artists took over the 51st-floor penthouse space at the swanky new Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. Live where a party was being held in conjuction with the L.A. Art Show.

Fairey was on hand to present a few new mandala-inspired collages and to serve as DJ for the evening. Before hitting the turntables, however, the artist spent some time chatting with Culture Monster about future projects, including the group survey show ‘Art in the Streets’ at L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art. He also offered a few choice words about his recent decision to settle his legal case with the Associated Press.


Fairey said he is hard at work on the MOCA show, which is scheduled to open in April at the Geffen Contemporary. He said he will contribute several new and existing pieces to the exhibition, including what he calls ‘graphic re-illustrations of my outdoor work.’

The artist explained that he wants to give museum visitors a taste of the size and scale of his outdoor murals, which are often large-scale and feature eclectic images inspired by various aspects of pop culture. He said he plans to contribute at least eight new pieces to the MOCA show.

Fairey said that he’s still thinking about the recent MOCA controversy involving the street artist Blu, whose mural in downtown L.A. depicting military caskets covered in dollar bills was painted over after the museum decided it was inappropriate due to its proximity to a Veterans Affairs facility.

Fairey said that he understood MOCA President Jeffrey Deitch’s decision to remove the mural in consideration of veterans. ‘I’m still bummed about the Blu controversy,’ he said. ‘But maybe there’s a silver lining to it. It’s raised awareness around important issues of public art.’ The artist said he’s also working on a solo show that will take place later this year at the V1 Gallery in Copenhagen, Denmark.

When asked about his recent decision to settle his fair-use case with the AP, Fairey said he couldn’t talk about it in detail, but he added that ‘I’m happy it’s over. Collaborating with them [on future projects] is a good solution.’

Wednesday’s party was held in connection with the L.A. Art Show, which runs through this weekend at the L.A. Convention Center. The party featured work by street artists Mear One, Shark Toof and Chor Boogie, who covered the walls and floor of the 51st-floor penthouse with their creations. Their work was juxtaposed with a mini-exhibition of photographs by the legendary Henri-Cartier Bresson.


Also on display, on a different floor, was a series of dreamlike landscape photographs by 26-year-old L.A. artist Garret Suhrie, who works with David LaChapelle.

The party was held to honor patrons of the Art of Elysium, a charity that benefits children who are battling serious medical conditions.

-- David Ng


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