video of paul richard hanging signs on the shepard fairey mural on houston and bowery (from his website- link in the post below.) i must have been the last person in america to know who shepard fairey is. my friend mary finally hipped me. for my birthday she gave me a ticket to shepard fairey's dj gig at the ica in boston. this was the infamous show before which he was arrested by the boston police for tagging, preventing his appearance. instead of informing the crowd, the ica took people's WHOLE tickets at the door- NOT returning the stubs, apparently a deliberate attempt to prevent attendees from claiming any compensation. so, though fairey later returned to the ica and did a dj night, the people who had paid to attend the original event were out of luck (though mary was given a ticket to the re-party by another friend- yay!) the party and the gallery show were loads of fun anyway. the building is spectacular! but the ica's underhanded policy was galling. i made this commemorative t shirt and gave it to mare. some have suggested that the arrest was a publicity stunt, but i've met the assistant district attorney assigned to prosecute the case, who is adamant it was entirely genuine (assistant district attorney adam foss, with fairey, below, not my photo.) after obama's election fairey was probably the most celebrated graphic designer in the world and there was a lot of prestige for the city in hosting him. only in boston would the powers that be do everything they could to screw it up.
personally i love the shepard fairey obama posters and the early obey and andre the giant stickers/stencils, but a lot of his current work feels lame to me (especially his bowery mural.) now days he seems more like a good commercial graphic designer than soulful street artist.