Samuel Owen Gallery is proud to present a selection
of original works by Shepard Fairey

Opening Reception
February 7th
6:00 - 8:00
Samuel Owen Gallery
Greenwich, CT

Propagandist, arch manipulator, inciter, provocateur, these are all words used to describe the artist Shepard Fairey, the man many hail as the originator of the modern urban art scene and an undeniable phenomenon.

It began with an absurd sticker illustration of the wrestler André The Giant, which then evolved into an exploration of control, questioning control, and questioning the giant monolithic forces that we are all subjected to, confronting these giant issues with his work, revealing the duality to the name. The title ‘Facing the Giant’ references the giant of Fairey’s prolifically disseminated Obey Giant art campaign, but more enduringly, the giant issues and forces he confronts through his art.

Coming from a punk rock, skateboarding, and rebellious subcultures, he started off doing work in the street without permission. It was in 2008 that Shepard Fairey became a worldwide household name when he created, the renowned Obama Hope poster in red and blue colours. Since then, Fairey’s work has continued to reach the masses, inspiring the public on a global scale. Fairey’s mega sphere installation under the Eiffel Tower, entitled ‘Earth Crisis’, brought attention to the climate and sustainability debate. His work continues to address current topics of discussion across his worldwide solo exhibitions and museum shows, from Los Angeles to Paris, London, Seoul, New York, Munich and many more.

His work, a mixture of parody and protest, serves to subvert the very medium to which it attaches itself. Plastered posters adorn advertising billboards that in his own words ‘market nothingness’ while large scale posters with the simple one word message ‘obey’ stir the bewildered masses. Dissent is at the root of what he does, and it continues to be an important part of his work, pushing back against dominant systems that allow and perpetuate injustice requires dissent. His unique use of stencils, collage, photography and painting have led to collaborations with, among others, DJ Shadow, Interpol, Smashing Pumpkins, Led Zeppelin, Neil Young, the Misfits, a limited edition 12-inch featuring Chuck D, and the poster art for the Johnny Cash biopic, ‘Walk the Line’. Other collaborations include his work with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein for the Blondie ‘Pollinator’ album art, a collaborative print with Joan Jett, ‘Joan Jett The Runaway’, and the album art for Tom Petty’s ‘An American Treasure’ 2018 compilation album.

Shepard Fairey is known for his extensive and consistent production of fine art screenprints that began his career and he has continued to create provocative and accessible works with his 18 x 24-inch screen prints. For this survey of the last three decades, the selected 30 artworks will be shown as 30 x 41-inch hand painted multiples (HPMs) which are prints on unique collaged backgrounds with additional stencilling and embellishments. Facing the Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent will be the first time that many of these images are available in mediums other than the original 18 x 24-inch screen print editions that have long been unavailable on the primary market.

Shepard Fairey was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1989 he created the ‘André the Giant has a Posse’ sticker that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign, with imagery that has changed the way people see art and the urban landscape. After 30 years, his work has evolved into an acclaimed body of art, which includes the 2008 ‘Hope’ portrait of Barack Obama, found at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery.

‘Facing the Giant’ is a curated series of images chosen for their importance aesthetically and conceptually, and for addressing critical topics and themes frequently recurring throughout Fairey's career. "This show is a reflection, not a retrospective, because I'm still very actively creating new art, but I like the idea of highlighting both the continuity and evolution of my art and concepts over 30 years." - Shepard Fairey, 2019 
382 Greenwich Avenue Greenwich, CT

I'll be there!
I can't make it

382 Greenwich Ave I Greenwich CT 06830 I 203 422-6500
46 Centre St I Nantucket MA 02554 I 508 680-1445
206 Brazilian Avenue I Palm Beach FL I 33480