Library Street Collective is hosting a LA exhibition with artist/activist Shepard Fairey in his most ambitious show to date, aptly titled DAMAGED. It’s been nearly 10 years since Fairey’s last solo exhibition in his hometown of Los Angeles and the iconic HOPE imagery he created for then Presidential candidate Barack Obama. In this unprecedented political climate, Fairey’s message has changed from hope to purpose: "DAMAGED is an honest diagnosis, but diagnosis is the first step to recognizing and solving problems. I definitely think that art can be part of the solution because it can inspire people to look at an issue they might otherwise ignore or reject.”
Of late, Fairey has shifted more towards making artwork based on critical issues and less on distinct figures as he has in the past. DAMAGED still contains the portraits we know and love, but the people he illustrates are representative of diverse Americans most affected by current policies and social issues, rather than recognizable personas of prominence. Advocacy is something the artist has always encouraged through his artmaking and his many social, political and humanitarian platforms: “When greed and indifference are the status quo, it’s time for conversation.”
DAMAGED also takes aim at another hindrance to reformative communication: social media. For what should be the most meaningful platform for important discussion ever created, discourse has fallen secondary to self-indulgence and celebrity: “Even prior to the election, I’ve been troubled by the social media mentality of ‘construct your own reality’ in superficial terms, at least. The internet and social media are valuable for democratization, but as Marshall McLuhan warned with his—”the medium is the message”—the rapid pace and temporary nature of social media can lead to throwaway approaches from the consumer and the creator...”
DAMAGED will be on view in downtown Los Angeles through December 17, 2017.
LIBRARY STREET COLLECTIVE
Library Street Collective specializes in cutting edge contemporary fine art with a focus on emerging and established artists who have pushed the boundaries of traditional medium and exhibition space. Located in the heart of downtown Detroit, we present regular group and solo exhibitions while contributing to the artistic renaissance of the city's public, private, and heritage spaces. It is our mission to bring both world-renowned artists and exciting new work to a reimagined Detroit, as well as carry this sentiment as we expand our presence through exhibitions, special projects and art fairs nationally and internationally.
Shepard Fairey's work and practice disrupts the distinction between fine and commercial art. He has become widely known since the 2008 US presidential election for his Barack Obama “Hope” and Inauguration poster that hangs at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington DC. Fairey rose to prominence in the early 1990s, through the dispersion of posters and stickers that were labeled as “Andre the Giant has a Posse” which would later relate to his Obey Giant Campaign. Today the work is now regarded as an international phenomenon, having changed the language between art and the urban landscape.