Further art discussions and notifications for the artwork of Sam Thorp

Friday, June 17, 2011


Artistic Integrity

Shepard Fairey's is in question yet again.

You may have seen the recent hubaloo broke by ...of all things.... TMZ.
The question was asked if Shepard still goes out in the middle of the night to put up his posters. This sort of thing is important to street art.
It's about being on the street, part of the culture. The underdog risking life and limb to display art.

Fairey's "street cred" has always been been suspect.
Many at the street level have accused Fairey of being a rich kid playing at graffiti.

He's been taken to court more than once for copyright infringement. First with the image of Andre the Giant, by Andre's surviving family.
And secondly, by the Associated press for the photo of Obama that became the big- deal HOPE poster.

Fairey settled these lawsuits mostly unscathed and claimed the right to "fair- use" and "appropriation" of certain images. But then turned around and sued someone else for appropriating him.

And my favorite is the accusation as to whether or not Shepard Fairy can draw.
"What initially disturbed me about the art of Shepard Fairey is that it displays none of the line, modeling and other idiosyncrasies that reveal an artist’s unique personal style. His imagery appears as though it’s xeroxed or run through some computer graphics program; that is to say, it is machine art that any second-rate art student could produce.

In fact, I’ve never seen any evidence indicating Fairey can draw at all. Even the art of Andy Warhol, reliant as it was upon photography and mass commercial imagery, displayed passages of gestural drawing and flamboyant brushstrokes. "
~ Mark Vallen

But getting back to the original matter:
Does Shepard Fiarey still pound the pavement and risk arrest and injury to display his work?
Does he have to? At this point he's invited to display his art on walls inside and out.
He COULD have just been honest and said something like, "Look guys I used to do that, and it was an invaluable experience, but now things have changed. I've evolved. I've moved on to bigger and better challenges. I still have the utmost respect for the street artists still out there."

He could have explained that his work is in such great demand that he has to resort to a workshop operation, similar to Bernini, Ruebens and the like.

Why not just be honest? Point out the positives, and suggest that most criticism comes from people jealous of his success.
Sure some would have called him a sell out... but they do anyway.
See, I don' t see selling out as the big crime here. Artist's "sell out" all the time. Hip-hop (Street art's musical cousin) sells out constantly, they write songs about. People don't give them a hard time, because they know that is the point of most hip-hop. They are honest about it.

When you lie or deceive you constantly worry about getting caught. that someone will out you. And then you look 10x worse cause you got caught lying. And then people get to make fun of you for it.
I think it's way better to just be honest. Cause they ARE striking images. If he wants the respect of his colleagues and critics.. start with honesty.

If YOU want respect of your colleagues, i suggest you start with honesty which leads to integrity.
If you're doing something you don't want anyone to find out about... maybe you shouldn't do it.
If you have nothing to hide then "they" have nothing to use against you.

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