Sound and Vision – Shepard Fairey Obey Exhibition

‘Sound and Vision’ by Shepard Fairey
Until November 4th, 2012
Stolenspace Gallery
E1 6QL, London

Words and photos by Phil Procter

shepardfairey_sound_vision_exhibitionIt’s been 5 years since Shepard Fairey’s OBEY camp invaded London with Nineteeneightyfouria and this time they are back for total Sound and Vision domination.

His brand new show hosted in London’s Brick Lane has been nothing short of a main attraction. Queues of onlookers have graced the pavements outside for the first few days to witness Shepard’s latest work, showcased alongside legendary sound commander, Z-Trip on the turntables. Z-Trip and Fairey have been collaborating together for years, and both attack their art with a punk mentality that is mixed with the cut and paste ethos of the classic late 80s Hip Hop sound.

Those who adore collecting mixtapes will no doubt be rushing to download his new mixtape which oozes a mash-up of classic Hip Hop and propoganda-inspired beats from the likes of Public Enemy and many more.

The emphasis of this show features the music that inspired Shepard to become an iconic figure in the art world. The installation of an old-skool record store enables you to delve into his collection of Fugazi, Public Enemy, the Sex Pistols and many more acts that influenced his desire to create. The art itself is spread over two spaces. The Stolenspace Gallery is dedicated to album art, while around the corner on Dray Walk, there’s a pop-up store hosting Obey Clothing and the main gallery space for his art which spans across 3 floors. The main building concentrates on influences, with a wall of fame dedicated to album art and portraits of leading members of different genres and subcultures. On display here are artists like Basquiat and Keith Haring, as well as musicians that include the likes of Joe Strummer to John Lennon.. All who were chosen have one thing in common: They were pioneers in their own genres.

This is a huge body of work, exhibited in a fantastic warehouse setting. If you can make it down to the show there’s no doubt that you will be blown away by the scale of this project. With that in mind, it will no doubt be another 5 years until we see work like this again in the UK, but fear not, Fairey has been out and about in East London on this trip and more than left his indelible mark on the city. Get out there and find it.

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