Shepard Fairey Changes the Mainstream

Before Shep got to it, the wall had been tagged.

The wall at Houston and Bowery has sported Keith Haring’s crawling babies, and Os Gemeos’ trippy amusment park: now it’s wearing something from the OBEY line of products: a wheatpaste collage in Shepard Fairey’s best and latest fascist poster colors. It’s looking good.

The wall will be finished in time to promote Fairey’s upcoming show at Deitch Projects, May Day: a series of portraits of revolutionary personages who, “started out on the margins of culture and ended up changing the mainstream.”

But a few steps too many into mainstream, and one may not end up changing it, but only changing how one makes money in it.

From the OBEY site
From the OBEY site

For example: the May Day show will reflect the incendiary mood of spray can and eaves-clinging guerilla art, with it’s tribute to political activism; in the meantime it will also serve to promote Shepard Fairey’s OBEY clothing line. And the OBEY clothing line, will spring a pop-up store on Orchard Street coinciding with the Deitch show, thus providing a promotional supplement to it.

As if there’s not enough money in all that marketing, recall that this will be Jeffrey Deitch’s last show at the Wooster street location before he closes shop and moves off to LA MOCA. The draw will already be huge.

Shepard Fairey, May Day
Deitch Projects | 18 Wooster Street, New York
May 01, 2010 — May 29, 2010

MORE SNEAK PEEKS at Flavorwire

OBEY Pop-Up Store
151 Orchard Street, New York
April 30 – May 16


Addendum: On April 22, as Shepard Fairey and crew were clearing out and getting ready to go get some dinner after finishing the mural on Houston Street, I, and my husband, David Kaplan, a writer for PaidContent, stopped to chat with him. David asked him some questions about his law battles with the Associated Press. Here’s a link to the story.

Shepard Fairey: AP Suit Driven By ‘Crumbling Business Model’; AP To  Fairey: You’re The Hypocrite
by David Kaplan

Shep's Words on AP case

a nice little history of appropriation


One-Two Punch for Art Market as Titans Compete for Luxury Dollars

In a competitive back and forth, The Wall Street Journal has announced the debut next month of a special New York Metro edition that could result in greater outreach to the luxury and arts markets. Meanwhile, The New York Times has responded with an announcement of their new “Numbers” ad campaign meant to demonstrate to advertisers it’s unique influence on the same demographic.

David Kaplan, of paidContent, reports “The campaign …will run for six weeks across print, out-of-home and online. The stats on the campaign’s microsite, NYT Audience, are culled from market researcher Scarborough and attempt to show that the NYT has nearly twice as many affluent readers, roughly three times as many New York-based online users and significantly higher female print readership.” The NYT also is working hard to point out that the paper and its website are particularly popular among women, business professionals and art enthusiasts in the New York market. In other words, the WSJ has a lot of catching up to do in those areas, if its New York-centric edition stands a chance.

Since the NYT and the WSJ will be competing for more advertising from museums, galleries, auction houses and other cultural institutions, it may be that they will be expected to widen cultural news coverage as well. This could provide the city’s arts industry with an additional, high profile avenues with which to reach more affluent audiences. It could also result in discounts in ad rates from both papers as they compete to for finite marketing dollars among local luxury ad repositories such as New York and The New Yorker magazines. More details in the press release

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