Category: Shepard Fairey

Stephen Colbert talks art with Steve Martin, with help from Shepard Fairey et al.

December 9, 2010 | 10:49 am

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Steve Martin learned the hard way last week that live audiences don't always appreciate lengthy discourses on the art world. The actor-comedian was at a talk at the 92nd Street Y in New York and spent much of the evening discussing all things art-related, tied to his new book, "An Object of Beauty." Audiences were so unhappy with the serious talk that the 92nd Street Y reportedly offered everyone a refund.

On Wednesday night's episode of "The Colbert Report" on Comedy Central, Martin found a crowd that was much more welcoming of his expertise as an art collector and connoisseur. Host Stephen Colbert presided over a mock art-valuation session in which he asked Martin how much he would pay for a Colbert portrait. (You can watch the segment in the clip above.)

Colbert When Martin replied that he wasn't interested -- valuing the painting at about $19 -- Colbert introduced a series of renowned artists -- Frank Stella, Shepard Fairey and Andres Serrano -- who either offered commentary or provided their own embellishments to the portrait. (The moments were reminiscent of Woody Allen pulling Marshall McLuhan out of thin air in "Annie Hall.")

Fairey took time to spray-paint the Colbert painting with his "Obey" logo. Serrano used a marker to transform Colbert into a Hitler-esque demagogue.  Martin's interest in the work appeared to grow as each artist added his own embellishment.

The lessons of the Colbert episode are manifold...

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Shepard Fairey and Russell Brand, celebrity friends with a counterculture mission

October 18, 2010 |  1:11 pm

Fairey Last week we sat down with artist Shepard Fairey to discuss his budding friendship and working relationship with comedian Russell Brand. Prior to the interview we were told that Fairey, on the advice of his lawyers, would not discuss the ongoing dispute with the AP over the Obama "Hope" graphic.

However, much was discussed about Fairey's admiration for Brand and his feeling that he will likely collaborate much more with the actor in the future. Most recently Fairey created the image for the jacket cover of Brand's new memoir, "Booky Wook 2: This time it's personal."

To read the full Calendar story, click here.

Photo: Shepard Fairey holds up a copy of Russell Brand's new memoir, "Booky Wook 2," which Fairey designed. Credit: Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times


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Jeffrey Deitch reveals details about upcoming Shepard Fairey show in New York


Graffiti and street art show to take over MOCA's Geffen Contemporary in 2011

September 15, 2010 |  1:15 pm


Anyone wondering what Jeffrey Deitch's next step will be as the director of the Museum of Contemporary Art now has an answer. In two words: street art.

Local artists and gallery owners have been whispering about the possibility, and this week Deitch confirmed his plans for a 2011 show. "We're going to send out the press release in a few weeks," he says. "Right now we're trying to iron out sponsorship. It's going to be the first major museum survey of the history of graffiti and street art presented in the United States."

The show is called "Art in the Streets," not to be confused with "Born in the Streets," recently staged by the Cartier Foundation in Paris. Deitch says the MOCA endeavor will be bigger, broader and more historical in sweep. "A show at this level has never been done anywhere."

The choice of subject is no surprise to anyone who knows Deitch. Since the 1970s, he has supported New York artists like Lee Quinones, Futura, Fab 5 Freddy, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. More recently, Deitch Projects, his former gallery, showed the work of California anti-heroes Barry McGee and Shepard Fairey.

The MOCA show will cover the 1970s through the present, including international street-art stars such as Banksy from London and Space Invader from Paris. ("Banksy is very excited about the show,” says Deitch. How does he know, considering Banksy's notoriously elusive nature? "We communicate through his assistant Holly.")

But also expect a substantial focus on Los Angeles: the legacy of cholo graffiti in the 1970s, the

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Shepard Fairey to unveil new solo art show at his L.A. gallery

August 30, 2010 | 11:01 am

Fairey In recent months, Shepard Fairey has been in the news more for his court battles with the Associated Press than for his artwork. But in September, Fairey the artist will take over the spotlight from Fairey the legal lightning rod when he unveils his latest solo art show at his gallery in Los Angeles.

"Printed Matters," which runs Sept. 16 to Oct. 9 at  Subliminal Projects in Echo Park, will feature a variety of Fairey's printed works, including prints on wood, metal, album covers and fine art collage papers.

"Some people say print is on its way out, that it will be wiped out by digital media," said Fairey in a statement. "But I say you can never replace the provocative, tactile experience of an art print on the street or in a gallery."

The show marks the first time that Fairey has mounted a solo exhibition of his own work at Subliminal Projects, which he and his wife, Amanda, opened in 2008. The opening night will feature a public reception and a book signing of "Beyond the Street: The 100 Most Important Figures in Urban Art."

As a street artist, Fairey has had considerable experience mass producing his own posters, stickers and other media that he and his team have plastered in cities around the country.

His most recognizable motifs include "Obey Giant" and the Barack Obama "Hope" poster, the latter of which is at the center of his legal dispute with the Associated Press.

Earlier this year, Fairey, 40,  mounted a solo show at Deitch Projects in New York featuring portraits of leaders from the worlds of politics, art and music. The show was the final exhibition at Deitch Projects before its owner, Jeffrey Deitch, assumed his new job as the head of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

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Shepard Fairey, AP trial date set for March

August 24, 2010 |  9:45 am

Hope It appears that the long-running legal saga between artist Shepard Fairey and the Associated Press will drag on well into 2011.

A judge in New York has set a March trial date in the case that pits Fairey against the news organization in a fair-use battle involving the artist's "Hope" poster, which depicts then-Sen. Barack Obama.  

The trial in New York will begin selection for an eight-member jury on March 21, said U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein on Monday. The trial is expected to take three weeks.

Fairey, a Los Angeles-based street artist, is accused of copyright infringement for using an Associated Press photo as inspiration for his "Hope" poster. The artist's legal team maintains that his use of the photo is protected by fair-use laws.

On Monday, a lawyer for Fairey said the artist would appear in court to show the judge and jury how he made the poster.

Last week, Mannie Garcia, the freelance photographer who took the photo of Obama in 2006 for the Associated Press, dropped his claims against the news agency in which he had stated he held the copyright to the photograph. 

In October 2009, Fairey admitted that he knowingly submitted false images and engaged in other wrongdoing in connection with the case. The artist is under criminal investigation as a result of his actions.

-- David Ng

Photos, from top: A version of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster, shown hanging in the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Credit: Michael Reynolds / EPA.  Fairey at a reception for the current Dennis Hopper exhibition at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art. Credit: Stefanie Keenan / Wireimage


Fairey33 Shepard Fairey lawyer says fair-use case isn't over yet

Stephen Colbert immortalized (sort of) by Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey to face criminal investigation in Associated Press case

Jeffrey Deitch reveals details about upcoming Shepard Fairey show in New York

Judge rules Shepard Fairey can switch lawyers in AP case

AP and Mannie Garcia, photographer at center of Shepard Fairey case, drop claims against each other

August 21, 2010 |  6:00 am


The complicated legal case involving Shepard Fairey, the Associated Press and a photograph of Barack Obama got a little less complicated Friday.

Mannie Garcia, the photographer whose picture of Obama is at the center of Fairey's legal battle with AP, has dropped his claim against the news agency in which he stated that he owns the copyright to the image.

Garcia, a freelancer who was working for AP, took the now-famous photograph of Obama in 2006 that Fairey later used as a reference for his "Hope" poster. On Friday, the photographer dropped his claim against AP, which he filed in 2009 alleging that the news organization was seeking to benefit from the image by claiming that it was the rightful owner of the copyright.

The AP also dropped its claim against Garcia on Friday. A lawyer for the photographer told AP that the legal proceedings have "taken a toll on [Garcia] personally and professionally. He thought he'd be better suited to focus his efforts on what he knows, taking photographs like the Obama image."

In October 2009, Fairey admitted that he submitted false images and deleted others during his legal proceedings in the AP case. As a result of his wrongdoings, Fairey faced criminal investigations.

Earlier this month, a judge denied AP's request for sanctions against Fairey related to the case. There have been rumors circulating that AP and Fairey will settle out of court, but neither side has spoken publicly about this.

-- David Ng

Photo (top): The original photograph taken by Mannie Garcia juxtaposed with Fairey's "Hope" poster. Credit: Mannie Garcia / Associated Press

Photo (bottom): Fairey at a reception for the current Dennis Hopper exhibition at L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art. Credit: Stefanie Keenan / Wireimage


Fairey33 Shepard Fairey lawyer says fair-use case isn't over yet

Stephen Colbert immortalized (sort of) by Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey to face criminal investigation in Associated Press case

Jeffrey Deitch reveals details about upcoming Shepard Fairey show in New York

Judge rules Shepard Fairey can switch lawyers in AP case

Shepard Fairey lawyer says fair-use case isn't over yet

June 1, 2010 | 11:12 am

Shepard Fairey A lawyer for Shepard Fairey said the legal battle between the Los Angeles street artist and the Associated Press was far from over, despite a recent AP article to the contrary.

On Friday, an AP story quoted federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein as saying, "Whether it's sooner or later, the Associated Press is going to win" the case. In the story, a lawyer for the AP said the news organization owned the copyright to the photograph that Fairey used in creating his "Hope" poster of Barack Obama and that the artist had violated the copyright.

Geoffrey Stewart, who represents Fairey in the case, disputes the implications in the AP story.

"We don't believe Judge Hellerstein's statement in court today indicates a prejudgment of the case," said Stewart in a statement that was e-mailed to The Times.

"We continue to believe there is a strong basis for fair use in this case, and Judge Hellerstein made clear that he hasn't even begun to focus on the fair use issues."

Stewart is an attorney at the law firm Jones Day, where he specializes in cases involving fraud and misconduct. He joined Fairey's legal team in late 2009 after the artist's previous attorneys stepped down.

The L.A. artist admitted in October that he knowingly submitted false images and deleted others in the legal proceedings involving the "Hope" poster. He is currently facing a criminal probe in connection to his admitted misconduct.

Fairey's representatives have repeatedly questioned AP's reporting on the case, saying that the organization's stories are an extension of its legal strategy.

-- David Ng

Photo: Shepard Fairey arrives at Banksy's "Exit Through the Gift Shop" premiere in L.A. in April 2010. Credit: Frazer Harrison / Getty Images


Using Shepard Fairey to trash President Obama

Shepard Fairey admits to wrongdoing in AP lawsuit

Monster Mash: 'Fela!,' 'La Cage' top Tony nominees; remembering Redgrave; Turner Prize finalists named

May 4, 2010 |  7:52 am

Hodge-lacage -- Tony nods: The musicals "Fela!" and "La Cage aux Folles" have each received 11 nominations to lead the field for the 2010 Tony Awards. (Los Angeles Times)

-- On the edge: A painter who specializes in scenes of tragedies, an artist who sings over supermarket loudspeakers, a painter-sculptor known for mangling her canvases and a filmmaking duo are the finalists for Britain's 2010 Turner Prize for contemporary art. (Associated Press)

-- Paying tribute: The lights on Broadway will be dimmed Tuesday night in memory of Lynn Redgrave, a member of a British theater dynasty who followed her own course as both actor and writer. (Playbill, Los Angeles Times)

-- Big boon:  Michigan philanthropists Dick and Betsy DeVos have given the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington $22.5 million to endow its management training program for arts leaders. Buoyed by the gift, Michael M. Kaiser has agreed to extend his tenure as the center's president. (Washington Post)

-- Drama Desk picks: The Broadway revival of "Ragtime" and off-Broadway's "The Scottsboro Boys" received nine nods apiece as the nominations for the 55th annual Drama Desk Awards were announced in New York. (Playbill)

-- No show: A strike by the opera house's unions has forced Milan's La Scala to cancel Tuesday's performance of Verdi's "Simon Boccanegra," the opera in which tenor Placido Domingo is making his return to the stage two months after undergoing surgery for colon cancer. (Telegraph)

-- In limbo: New York City's Department of Buildings has issued a stop-work order that could lead to the demise of a street mural that artist Shepard Fairey painted to promote his exhibition at the gallery owned by Jeffrey Deitch, the incoming director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. (Wall Street Journal)

-- Center stage: "American Idol" winner Jordin Sparks will make her Broadway debut this summer in the Tony-winning musical "In the Heights." (Los Angeles Times)

-- Ghoulish gift: A collection of Edward Gorey's masterfully macabre drawings, etchings and posters -- including nearly every edition of every work he published -- has been donated to Columbia University Libraries. (New York Times)

Also in the Los Angeles Times: Filmmaker Jonathan Demme is directing his first play, Beth Henley's "Family Week"; Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will begin an "interactive residency" at UCLA Live; theater critic Charles McNulty offers an appreciation of Lynn Redgrave.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Douglas Hodge in "La Cage aux Folles." Credit: Joan Marcus / Associated Press

Monster Mash: Arts groups to fight City Hall; Shepard Fairey mural vandalized; Met picks guest conductor

April 28, 2010 |  8:23 am

Fairey-newyork --Battle plans: Arts advocates are preparing to fight Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's bid to divert funding to four of his handpicked programs and a City Council proposal to end nonprofit groups' rent-free use of city buildings. (Los Angeles Times)

--Rude welcome: Vandals in New York have spray-painted and ripped holes in a mural created by L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey in conjunction with his May show at the gallery of Jeffrey Deitch, the incoming director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. (ARTINFO)
--On the podium: Fabio Luisi has been named principal guest conductor of the Metropolitan Opera, whose music director, James Levine, has been plagued by health problems. (Associated Press)

--Phony Picasso: A West Hollywood art and antiques dealer has agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud charges after she allegedly sold a fake Picasso for $2 million. (Los Angeles Times)

--End of an era: Carlson & Co., the San Fernando-based art fabricator known for producing complex contemporary pieces such as Jeff Koons' stainless-steel "Balloon Dog," is closing -- a victim of the slumping economy. (Bloomberg)

--Oops: A street-cleaning crew in Melbourne, Australia, accidentally painted over a stencil of a parachuting rat created by British guerrilla artist Banksy. (Associated Press)

--Marquee name: The Museum of Modern Art in New York says a retrospective exhibit on filmmaker Tim Burton drew the third-highest attendance in its history. (New York Times)

--Future film? The creators of Broadway's "Memphis," which originated at the La Jolla Playhouse, are in talks to take their show to the big screen, according to the musical's lyricist and book writer, Joe DiPietro. (Playbill)

--Top price: A 1934 oil landscape by Egyptian painter Mahmoud Said has sold for a record $2.43 million in Dubai. (Bloomberg)

--Show will go on: The Theatre World Awards -- which have honored outstanding debut performances on and off-Broadway for more than six decades -- are in serious financial trouble, organizers say. Even so, officials still plan to hold this year's awards ceremony in June. (Playbill)
Also in the Los Angeles Times: Theater critic Charles McNulty reviews "Enron" at the Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway; Jenny Holzer, creator of art featuring "truisms" and other sayings, is being honored by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Shepard Fairey painting his mural in New York earlier this month. Credit: Cory Schwartz / Getty Images

Shepard Fairey's new outdoor mural on Melrose is temporary

April 6, 2010 |  2:04 pm


If you've driven along Melrose Avenue in the past couple of weeks, you probably have noticed a new outdoor mural on the north side of the street near Ogden Avenue, across from Fairfax High School.

The recognizable mash-up of pop-psychedelic images -- including an elephant, a lotus flower and "Obey" logos -- point to only one source: Shepard Fairey, the popular and controversial L.A. street artist.

Fairey and his team of artists created the 56 foot by 18 foot painting on the exterior of De La Barracuda, a clothing, hair and art gallery space frequented by über-hip trendsetters.

A spokesman for Fairey said that the artist has a close working relationship with Barracuda. He said the outdoor wall space usually is used for advertising but there was a gap in bookings, so the owner allowed Fairey to temporarily take over the space for his artwork.

Anyone wanting to check out the mural in person is advised to do so soon. The spokesman said that the artwork is scheduled to stay up only "for another couple of weeks" before it is covered up by an advertisement.

Fairey has recently been busy with his upcoming solo show "May Day" at Deitch Projects in New York that is scheduled to open May 1. The Fairey show is the last exhibition at the space before Jeffrey Deitch becomes the new director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in L.A.

The artist is currently battling the Associated Press in a fair-use legal case concerning his "Hope" poster of Barack Obama. In October, Fairey admitted that he knowingly submitted false images and deleted others in an attempt to conceal the fact that the AP had correctly identified the photo used as a reference for the poster.

On Monday, a judge in New York asked that Fairey disclose the identities of parties who deleted or destroyed records related to the case.

Click through for another view of Fairey's latest Hollywood mural...

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