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RIP Rowdy Roddy Piper

Rowdy Roddy Piper, former pro wrestler, and protagonist of John Carpenter’s film “They Live,” passed away last night from a heart attack. “They Live” was the film that, along with my love of Orwell, inspired the use of the word OBEY in my art. Rowdy Roddy knew about the OBEY connection and we met up a couple of times. He was a genuine, passionate, nice guy! He told me some amazing stories about his early days struggling to establish himself as a wrestler and his times with Andre the Giant. We had a great time talking about rebellion and what it takes to make it on your own terms. I’m really glad I got to hang with him. Rowdy was an original who will be missed. Watch “They Live” if you haven’t… Roddy has some great lines like “I came here to chew bubblegum and kick-ass and I’m all out of bubblegum.” That one was appropriated and reworked by Linklater in “Dazed and Confused.” Thanks for the inspiration Roddy. -Shepard

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Support diplomacy with Iran!

I’m a believer in diplomacy over fear and war. Check out this video… and don’t swallow the hawkish propaganda that the nuclear deal with Iran makes the world LESS SAFE! -Shepard

Call Congress to support the Iran Deal: 844-338-5149 (toll free) – tell Congress to support diplomacy with Iran.

Last Week to see SID in Paris!

Last week to see SID: Superman Is Dead at the Magda Danysz gallery in Paris! This unique tribute to the life of Sid Vicious features original paintings and prints by Shepard, shown alongside the legendary photos of Sid taken by photographer Dennis Morris. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see and own a piece of cultural and music history!

“[…] Sid remains one of punk’s most enduring icons even if he is a classic example of style over substance. I was a sucker for Sid’s image as a teenager, and I still am, even though I see him as less “cool” and more tragic and cautionary these days. I have made many images of Sid over the years, and I thought I had retired him as a subject until Dennis Morris-the photographer of the most intimate and iconic shots of Sid-approached me about collaboration. Dennis’s archive provided an amazing treasure trove of Sid images to work from in creating the paintings and prints in the “Superman Is Dead” show. I’m so glad I got to do Dennis’s Sid images “My Way”! I can now retire Sid as a subject. I’ve worked with the best, I can skip the rest”. – Shepard

SID: SUPERMAN IS DEAD

A collaborative exhibition between Dennis Morris and Shepard Fairey

Opening Reception: Saturday, July 4th 6-8pm
Magda Danysz Gallery – 78, rue Amelot – Paris 11
On view July 4 – August 1, 2015

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Opening Recap: It’s A Beautiful Day I Guess at Subliminal Projects

The opening of It’s A Beautiful Day, I Guess at Subliminal Projects last Saturday featured a healthy dose of style, wit, and pop cultural appropriation infused with legendary hip-hop lyrics and iconography. In addition to varied works by Greg Bojorquez, Mark Drew, Michelle Guintu, Patrick Martinez, and Tim Diet, the night culminated in a powerful performance by Jeramee Haynie and Kevin Woodruff. Check out these pictures from the show and be sure to stop by Subliminal Projects between now and August 15 to see the exhibition. For more information click HERE.

IT’S A BEAUTIFUL DAY, I GUESS
In Collaboration With Andres Guerrero
EXHIBITION DATES: July 18 – August 15

Subliminal Projects
1331 W. Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026

Photo credit: Yuri Hasegawa

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Deedee Cheriel’s “Natural Resource” opening August 1 in Los Angeles

Talented friend and fellow artist Deedee Cheriel has a show opening at KP Projects/MKG in Los Angeles on Saturday, August 1. “Natural Resource” explores her ever-burgeoning fusion of classical and mythological themes with her signature enchanted anthropomorphic and zoomorphic creatures. Deedee has previously shown work at Subliminal Projects and is known for her heavy involvement in the DIY culture of the early 90’s, playing in several all-girl bands (Juned, Adickdid, The Teenangels, The Hindi Guns). She has also contributed album artwork and t-shirt designs to many other bands. If you’re in the Los Angeles area, this one’s not to be missed!

AUGUST 1-29 2015
MERRY KARNOWSKY GALLERY
170 S. LA BREA LOS ANGELES, CA

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Fruits Of Our Labor

The Fruits of Our Labor print was inspired by a couple of things: the genetic modification of fruits and vegetables, and the military industrial complex. A few months ago, Neil Young invited me to check out some of the recording sessions for his forthcoming record “The Monsanto Years.” I was inspired by the songs and Neil’s courage to speak out against corporate greed from Monsanto as well as Chevron, Starbucks, and others. Neil asked if I’d be willing to create art inspired by the themes on the record and so I began thinking about ideas. One of the things I knew was that Monsanto produced Agent Orange for the U.S. government during the Vietnam War. This gave me the idea to use an orange as grenade to portray dangerous fruit literally and metaphorically.  You can read about  Genetic Modification, one of the things Monsanto does here. I’ve always admired Neil’s environmental activism, so I included his lyric “mother nature on the run” in the print as well. Genetic Modification in essence allows corporations to play god with the food we eat. People deserve the right to know where their food comes from.

   

The print also addresses the arms industry and the power it wields. The military industrial complex is so large and powerful that it has massive influence over politicians and is funded by billions in taxpayer dollars. Are these the fruits of our dollars and industries that we want? I spoke about my issues with U.S. military spending when I released my “Imperial Glory” print. If you missed that you can check out what I wrote here.  Thanks for caring.

-Shepard

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Bad Brain’s School of Rock!

My friend Darryl Jenifer from Bad Brains sent me this cool video of Eli Proper in an Obey tee on drums at the Darryl Jenifer recording camp. Darryl is teaching school of Rock this week! By the way, Obey Clothing will be doing a Bad Brains collaboration! Darryl has been sending me some great vintage imagery to work from… keep that P.M.A. and an eye out.
-Shepard

A TURN IN PARADISE

My piece for the Coney Island Art Walls was inspired by both Coney Island’s oceanside location, and my ongoing criticism of environmental destruction generally, but climate change caused by oil and gas specifically. Coney Island was affected by superstorm Sandy, a hurricane which many attribute to climate change, so I thought my image of the couple by the beach was especially appropriate, but the overall oil and gas theme is a thread throughout. I’m always excited to find a solution that addresses site-specific variables but also features themes that I think are universal and relevant to my entire body of work. – Shepard

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Art, Music, Politics with Chuck D & Shepard Fairey SXSW 2015

“Art and music should be about empowerment; once you’ve created a means to communicate, you shouldn’t squander that with stuff that is meaningless, you should fill it with things that are meaningful.” – Shepard

Check out the full SXSW 2015 panel discussion on art, politics and youth culture with Shepard, Chuck D (Public Enemy), Evan Pricco (Editor-In-Chief, Juxtapoz), Lorrie Boula (President, Soul Kitchen Music), and Todd Roberts (Head of Visual Arts, The Windish Agency).

5th Annual Rock and Roll Carnival to Benefit MUSACK w/ Rancid, X, and more!

Shepard will be DJing at The 5th Annual Rock and Roll Carnival to Benefit MUSACK on Saturday, August 22 in Hancock Park. The event will feature performances by Rancid, X (acoustic), Fishbone, and more. Founded by Donick Cary, a good friend, writer, and producer, MUSACK provides guitars and music programs to Nantucket High Schools, as well as scholarships for students wanting to pursue music-related studies, and cultural exchange programs for students in both Los Angeles and Nantucket. Nurturing the creative potential in students is crucial to humanity’s cultural advancement; what better way to support such programs than to come enjoy this fun event and experience some great music! Check out the lineup and get your tickets HERE.

Learn more about MUSACK here

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