Actually, in all honesty, admission to the Geffen’s Art in the Streets is free every Monday thanks to a donation by Banksy, a street artist whose ability to garner publicity never ceases to amaze and impress this blogger. So this Monday, I set out with a couple of friends to take advantage of Banksy’s largess. The exhibit was larger than I’d thought it would be and it was crowded enough that there was a line at the gift shop and a guard monitoring admission. (I bought nothing. I might have considered a skullphone tee-shirt even at the rockstar prices, but they had no girl cuts.) But I digress. The exhibit itself was really great.
It spanned everything from early tagging on train cars by railroad employees to LA car art to reconstructed cityscapes complete with animitronic taggers and a dummy homeless guy sleeping in a doorway. All it lacked was the urine smell. (This is not a suggestion, MoCA–just an observation.) The exhibit runs through August 8, and I hope I’m able to get back to see it again before it goes. Do note: Art in the Streets is at the Geffen, not at MoCA’s Grand Street location. Also note, you can easily take the metro. The Gold Line stops just a couple of blocks from the front door.
Highlights from the exhibit after the jump. Continue reading Comment below and get free admission to Art in the Streets Mondays
Well, I guess that happened months ago, perhaps when people started Fairey-ing their Facebook photos. But I wonder if this image of a dog with the word “ADOPT,” which I snapped in Marina del Rey, adds to the universal iconography idea that might help Fairey in his lawsuit with the Associated Press.
Shepard Fairey has designed a series of screen prints that will be sold to raise money for materials for May Day marches and immigration reform organizations.
Collaborating with Ernesto Yerena, an Obey associate, and with the support of Zack De La Rocha of Producciones Cimarron, an East LA-based independent multimedia organization dedicated to helping immigrants form a supportive community and lobby for humane and sensible legislative solutions, Fairey made two images based on Yerena’s photographs of the historic May Day march in 2006.
Editions of 450 screen prints measuring 18″x24″ will go on sale for $45 each on Thursday, April 30th at noon at Cimarrones.org.
Both Obey.com and Cimarrones.org have free downloadable versions of each poster available “to spread the word and post the images in windows, on street poles, offices, and wherever you think the message will reach people.”
Shepard Fairey has just written an extensive piece about the AP lawsuit and the Obama image. If you’ve been following this story at all his post is worth reading to get his perspective right from the source:
I’m very saddened to see many people try to demean my Obama poster as being “stolen” or that because I used a photo I “cheated”. As far as the idea of the image being “stolen”, I would love to have the clout to command portrait sittings from world leaders, but for me and most artists out there, that is not an option. For lots of artists, even licensing an image is out of the question financially. Should artistic commentary featuring world leaders be stifled because of copyright of the reference images even when the final artistic product has new intent and meaning? Reference is critical to communication, and in my opinion, reference as a part of social commentary should not be stifled.
He gives an extremely sound argument about the usage of reference photos in the history of art and points out many contemporary artists who use reference photos all the time. Referencing photos for illustrations is taught in art schools and has been practiced since photography was invented. However I don’t think that is the most important point. At the end of the piece he notes that “If the AP wins their case, every Obama art (or any other politician) that was based on a photo reference that was not licensed would be rendered illegal… I think art that is critical of leaders that neither the subject or the photographer approve of need to be a legal form of expression.” Political art, for or against a candidate, almost always features an image as the quickest way to convey the idea (think of all the Bush images you’ve seen the last 8 years) – if the AP wins this case those would all be made illegal and free speech will suffer a very painful blow.