Art, Life & Politics: Shepard Fairey in Conversation with Mark Sloan (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, May 15, 6PM | CHARLESTON MUSIC HALL, 37 John Street

The Halsey Institute will present an artist talk by exhibiting artist Shepard Fairey on Thursday, May 15, 6PM at the Charleston Music Hall (located at 37 John Street in downtown Charleston, SC 29403. This event is SOLD OUT. We will release a video on our website and Facebook page. Please join us for the opening reception for The Insistent Image on Thursday, May 22 from 6-8PM.

The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns features new work by Shepard Fairey and a survey of prints made between 1982 and 2012 by Jasper Johns at Universal Limited Art Editions. Both Fairey and Johns recycle graphic elements in the works they produce and in each case these repeated fragments gain new meaning through fresh juxtapositions and associations. Additionally, both artists have the capacity to transform the quotidian into the iconic. Each artist will occupy a separate gallery space, and no attempt is made at comparing their works. Rather, this exhibition demonstrates the power of this strategy of image repetition in the works of these two distinguished American artists.

For his first major exhibition in his hometown, the Los Angeles-based artist created an entire new body of work collectively entitled “Power & Glory”. According to Fairey, the idea behind these works is the celebration and critique of Americana with an emphasis on the meanings of power. Staying true to his rebellious punk background, and the social and political critique in his work, the new pieces are full of “in your face” slogans and statements about power, security, protection and similar subjects. Known for his visual remix of logos, symbols, and imagery, the new paintings, sculptures, works on paper, and screen prints explore and analyze everything that is both good and bad about American lifestyle and culture. Along with exhibiting his works in the indoor space, Fairey will be creating a series of large-scale public murals in locations throughout downtown Charleston, visually and thematically related to the show.

Born in 1970 in Charleston, SC this will be Shepard Fairey’s first major exhibition in his hometown. Beginning in the 1980s with an obsession with skateboard culture and a sticker campaign that went viral, Shepard Fairey has become one of the most visible street artists in the world. His seemingly ubiquitous Obama HOPE poster helped bolster his career (and, arguably, President Obama’s), and the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC acquired it for their permanent collection. Straddling the realms of fine, commercial, and street art, Fairey’s work resists easy classification. The artist exploits the gaps between these genres to produce works that frequently take on social and political issues. Fairey has become an articulate advocate for free speech and progressive ideas.

His work is included in the collections of the Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Community Partners 2014