Walk This Way: From Street to Gallery

Shepard Fairey on the streets

Shepard Fairey is an American graphic designer turned street artist who is perhaps most well known for the iconic “HOPE” posters used in Obama’s 2008 campaign. I’ve been familiar with his work for a while, so I was excited to see that he had made an appearance in Copenhagen!

I later discovered that his work in the city was sort of commissioned by a gallery called V1 in the old meatpacking district, which has been revitalized into a hip area with galleries and restaurants. Some of the work was greeted with much controversy.

Shepard Fairey in the gallery

I was fortunate enough to get to see the gallery exhibit before it closed. It was interesting to see Fairey playing with some of his usual images and themes in a more traditional setting and with different materials.

While I really enjoyed the gallery and think it shows Fairey’s growth as an artist, it does raise an interesting question about street artists who step off the street: are they selling out, or just being smart and trying to make a living off their work?

Some people weren't too happy about Shepard Fairey's controversial commissioned work on a former youth center.

Check out all the posts in the street art series Walk This Way!

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One thought on “Walk This Way: From Street to Gallery

  1. The work on the youth centre is great. Personally I don’t really see why street artists shouldn’t make money off their work – everybody else expects to get paid and it’s not like spray paint is free! 😉 … I’m just happy that a lot of work by street artists is free to enjoy. Btw if you’re into street art, you may like this cult doco ‘Beautiful Losers’ which shows where Fairey & others got started. You can watch it for free here: http://www.babelgum.com/beautifullosers

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