Shepard Fairey on Artsy

September 16, 2015

On the eve of Shepard Fairey: On Our Hands at Jacob Lewis Gallery, Artsy spoke with the artist on political corruption, apathy towards the environment, and corporate influence. On the political nature of his work, Fairey reflects, "It is not always easy to make art about these complex issues—often insidious and not often sexy—but I enjoy the challenge of making images that draw people into a conversation they might not otherwise have."

Elaborating on how he alters his approach to fine art vs. street art, Fairey explains, "A lot of the imagery I make overlaps between the street and the gallery, but there are considerations that are very different for each one. In a gallery, you have an audience that is there to spend time with the work. With my paintings I can use a bold primary image, but I can also incorporate a lot of subtleties in layers of collage, stenciling, and brushwork. When I work on the street, the imagery needs to compete with a lot of other imagery as well as the frantic pace of life. A lot of work on the street doesn’t last, so I aim for maximum impact within a potentially short life span."