Assaulted in Denmark-Shepard Fairey

       First and foremost this blog is an exercise in peace. I don't advocate violence, expect for SELF DEFENSE. I don't wish pain or suffering onto anybody unless they are trying to inflict that upon somebody else. Violence is UGLY. It's degrading. It's dangerous and unstable. It is often used in place of logical debate and thus it is an INTELLECTUALLY DEBASING activity.  And it is exactly for these reasons that I can't condone the recent beat down given to Shepard Fairey, however I'm not surprised that it has happened and neither should he!

   "The LA-based artist believes the attack was sparked by a misunderstanding over his mural commemorating the demolition of the legendary “Ungdomshuset” (youth house) at Jagtvej 69. The building, a long-term base for Copenhagen’s leftwing community, was controversially demolished in 2007. It has become a potent symbol of the standoff between the establishment in Copenhagen and its radical fringe." "Fairey’s installation, painted on a building adjacent to the vacant site, depicted a dove in flight above the word “peace” and the figure “69″. But the mural appeared to reopen old wounds, with critics accusing Fairey of peddling government-funded propaganda"

      Fairey has made it habit to align himself with revolutionary ideology through the referencing of certain  symbols and individuals/groups from different eras of struggle and uprising. He has incorporated, dishonestly  at times, other peoples works of art into his own so as to try and make his perspective seem more genuine and justified in its condemnation of consumerism, war, environmental destruction and a whole list of social issues. While he has been found guilty of this in a court of law it would seem that his reputation had suffered little, at least here in America.  Part of the reason I think this has been allowed to happen is because Shepard, like MTV, has successfully exploited the stupidity and moral bankruptcy of generation X, Y or what ever the fuck letter were up to now. By lifting works of art from artists of the past, many of his fans have been  ignorant  to the fact that his are not the originals. In this case his fans have played along unknowingly. Others who might be hip to his sources, see his financial success as reason to give him a pass on his piracy.  I have heard this argument on multiple occasions.  It's said he contributes a lot to the community and has created a lot of jobs for people. And therefor I should not be CONCERNED that he promotes the UNITED STATES killing people in Libya  or that he steals peoples photographs that he then uses to catapult himself into stardom.

        While I do believe in FREEDOM and thus pray that my brothers and sisters across the world throw the saddles from their backs, I CAN NOT as an INFORMED AMERICAN sit by as the WAR MACHINE deploys into Libya under the false pretense of  HUMANITARIANISM.  I, as a peace activist, can not allow this to ride and therefore speak out against it. Letting Fairey off the hook for EXCUSING THE UNITED STATES WAR MACHINE  just because he spreads some capital around is like forgiving CIGARETTE COMPANIES that advertise to kids just because they donate to a anti smoking fund. We all know that the CIGARETTE company doesn't want people to stop smoking. It is done to control the perception of the public. Make themselves look good, as if they truly cared. Fairey is being used as a character in an anti-war commercial but the MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX is paying for the airtime. He repeatedly condemns the wars of today that were started by Bush but says nothing about the Obama Administration drone bombing YEMEN and PAKISTAN, and then Fairey actually comes out and APPROVES of military force in LIBYA.  I could only imagine what a Libyan person, whose neighborhood was being destroyed by US Missiles would say to Fairey if they ever came face to face. It may turn out something like this situation in Denmark where, in fact somebodies house had been destroyed and THE PEOPLE of the house were able to confront FAIREY for ignorantly  downsizing the ISSUE in the name of PROFIT. (of course fairey would like for us to think it was an altruistic gesture of peace) Again I don't agree with the violence but DAMN its hard to blame somebody.Our only choice is to use logic to dissolve the DECEPTION.

          My wishes are that these revelations of Shepards deceitfulness will 1. Make him reflect and change his ways and 2. Create an informed public who will no longer support Shepard or folks like him who feel it is ok to steal another persons hard work and then call it your own in an effort to create a false narrative around your brand, as in the case of Ed Nachtrieb and his photo of a chinese soilder that Fairey was so inspired by. 
A sad but perfect example of the devastating effects of art jacking aka. BITING.  Here we witness the Historical context removed, a Watered down message in the name of Cultural Infiltration. These are not signs of a progressing art form. 

Ed Nachtrieb
Shepard Farey

We now see the Fairey Propaganda Machine  trying to modernize its approach by aligning with a struggle that was still alive and well in Denmark. Perhaps it was hard for him to continue to put up imagery of the BLACK PANTHERS while promoting their destruction in Libya. Or promoting CLIMATE CHANGE/CARBON TAX while NASA is releasing data that disproves the ANTHROPOGENIC GLOBAL WARMING MYTH.  He would like us to believe that he did zero homework on the Denmark Issues and thus his knowledge was weak.  Apparently he didn't even try to reach out to this group of displaced ANARCHISTS before he was paid to play the token street artist, who presumably has STREET CRED and  is able to be some sort of community ambassador of PEACE?  If he had been genuine in his mission of SOCIAL JUSTICE and had reached out to all parties involved maybe then he would not have been surprised when he was called a yankee hipster and assaulted by some of the very people who he likes to affiliate himself with. That he didn't reach out  is emotionally insensitive and the behavior of an egoist/opportunist.

“The city council is using the painting – directly or indirectly – to decorate the crater-like lot at Jagtvej 69,” said local activist Eskil Andreas Halberg in a letter to Modkraft, “The art is being used politically to end the conflict in a certain way: ‘we’re all friends now, right?’” (READ THIS!!!!)

         This issue is obviously something close to the heart of people in Denmark. Thus it is not surprising that this was one of the outcomes of Fairey and his interaction with the people there. Apparently while speaking with a concerned blogger in Denmark  he got into a "conversation that was heated, but I stayed calm and made my case for the work while debunking the theory that I was paid to do it by the city or that it was "an ad" for my commercial art show (even though it did not contain the word Obey)". I'm not sure how Fairey writes this bullshit with a straight face. I mean there is a big ass ANDRE THE GIANT OBEY face right in the middle of the fucking wall.  RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE!! This is an obvious attempt to promote his OBEY BRAND, but again we see him trying to act like some anti capitalist, peace loving, intellect who always take the high road. These backhanded apologies seem to be a weapon of choice for Fairey as we recently saw him apologize to his "friend" of whom he had un-thankfully used a picture of which this "friend" had taken. He used this picture in a gallery show of his without asking. His apology consisted mostly of him boasting about his numerous achievements and saying that while he understands that it is hard to be a underachieving artist like this "friend" of his,  it is much harder to be as popular as him.  This apology seriously hurt just reading it! 

Since this has happened a group of artists representing the demolished home have been allowed to add some of their own thoughts to the wall.  While the Fairey's version naively proclaimed the space as one of peace, this group of LOCAL artists realistically memorialized the TRUE VERSION OF THE PAST AND PRESENT STRUGGLE.

       This new legal addition to the wall was soon followed by and illegal extinguisher tag. Apparently the animosity is deep at this camp site. All the more reason Fairey should feel embarrassed. He claims that this is all a mistake and that he blindly went into this production. But again I'm thinking that if this is true and he didn't know the surface level issues surrounding the work he is commissioned to do how can any of his work be taken seriously? Is this an admission of his willingness to be a posterboy? I'm not sure what's worse being the posterboy for propaganda or being the designers of the posters?

1 comment:

  1. Hi, can you share this graphic I designed?