Sunday, March 22, 2009

Went to see Shepard Fairey's new exhibit at the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art (through August 16th, about 10 minutes' walk from the Amtrak terminal at South Station).

Fairey's all about taking and processing images --- extracting out key elements, combining them, recombining them, putting them up as graffiti. Sometimes they're social commentary, sometimes they're advertising for his own line of posters and T-shirts, and sometimes they're both, and sometimes you just can't tell.

His best known work (before that "Obama" poster) was a graffiti campaign that started out as crude stickers of Andre the Giant, and then metastasized --- sprouting slogans ("Andre the Giant has a Posse"; "Obey Giant"; and finally just "Obey"), getting mixed up with other stuff (one wall has Andre's facial features plunked on top of everything from a Warhol-esque portrait of Marilyn Monroe to that once-iconic Che Guevara poster), and recombined with other more overtly political stuff. A wall of posters includes one with the Giant face formed out of type, which starts by describing itself as a commercial gimmick and then gets more strident, denouncing anyone foolish enough to keep reading as an obvious dupe. On the wall to the left, a colossal mural in the form of a giant mock banknote proclaims the obvious, hidden, truth about paper money: "This ransom note is worth exactly what you are willing to give in order to get it." Also, "In lesser gods we trust". "Obedience is the most valuable currency." And always, always, "Obey".

A word about those murals: there are several in the show, meant to mock up the wall-covering street art that Fairey's splashed all over the country, most often without authorization from the building's owner or anyone else. Look closer. The pasted-up newspaper that he's painted over isn't always completely covered. Some of it's startlingly old (I spotted news stories about World War I). And a lot of it speaks one way or another to the image that's painted on top, whether it's his rifle-toting revolutionaries (sometimes with flowers in the gun barrels, sometimes not), portraits, or those whacked-out dollar bills.

The exhibit's a bit controversial in town, as is the artist. Local bigwigs have let it be known how pleased they were that some cop arrested Fairey on the way to his own show's opening, on prior, long-standing arrest warrants for defacement. (Almost certainly to embarrass the Mayor, who's having union problems for all the usual reasons, and who gave Fairey permission, for once in his life, to redecorate a wall of City Hall.) And in one of our tonier galleries the other day --- one which periodically offers etchings by Rembrandt --- I heard one of the staffers say she had trouble taking anyone seriously who engaged in so much blatant self-promotion. (My response: "And Picasso didn't?") Well, I've just tried to describe what's on the walls. If you like that sort of thing, as a great man once said, then this is the sort of thing you will like.

Also at the ICA, through October: an video exhibit. I sometimes find these hit or miss, but there were a couple of hits. One of them literally acts out an encounter of six blind men with a remarkably patient elephant.

The other hit from the video show is a half hour record of what happens when you ask representatives of several Polish groups (right-wing students, left-wing students, church-going old ladies...) to paint up murals, and then have them each take turns doing whatever they like to their own mural, or anyone else's. It starts out gently enough: one of the student groups opens the doors to the church. But it fairly quickly gets nasty (with the left-wing students chopping up the right-wing group's emblem, and chucking it into a circle labeled "dustbin of history") and ends with clothes getting defaced and things set on fire. Any resemblance to recent events on Livejournal is strictly coincidental.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog as for me. I'd like to read a bit more concerning this theme. Thanx for posting that info.
Joan Stepsen
Girl geeks

11:40 AM  
Anonymous オテモヤン said...


8:44 PM  
Anonymous Buy Research Paper said...

Many institutions limit access to their online information. Making this information available will be an asset to all.

1:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Looking Glass Blog,

I just have a quick question for you but couldn't find an email so had to resort to this. I am a progressive blogger and the owner of the mahablog. Please email me back at when you get a chance. Thanks.


12:39 PM  
Blogger Griya Mobil Kita said...

Very nice, thanks.
sewa mobil

5:43 AM  
Anonymous Discount viagra said...

Gread blog site!! Keep up doing this work!

3:27 AM  
Anonymous jaring pengaman gedung said...

Nice article, thanks for the information. It's very complete information. I will bookmark for next reference
jaring futsal | jaring golf | jaring pengaman proyek |
jaring pengaman bangunan | jaring pengaman gedung

2:53 AM  
Anonymous obat gagal jantung said...

Well, I like this blog and the articel. I hope you continue to writing.

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Obat darah tinggi said...

makasih kak
5 efek mayor dari tekanan darah tinggi
Penyaki radang usus gejala diagnosis dan pengobatan
Efek buruk tekanan darah tinggi pada kesehatan tubuh
6 cara yang mampu turunkan tekanan darah tinggi

10:38 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

The information you provide helps me, a lot of new things that I found after reading the article you wrote.
Thank you so much for sharing this useful information.

Obat Neuropati Obat Kista Coklat Herbal Obat Vaginitis Herbal Terbaik Obat Herbal TBC Obat Polip Rahim Herbal

3:27 AM  
Blogger Drw Skincare said...

It is interesting to read, I hope the future is much better




11:42 PM  
Anonymous Toko acep Agen pusat qnc jelly gamat Tasikmalaya said...

we can manage waste so that more useful and certainly helped work the soil and the organisms that play a role in the decomposition of garbage. The first step we can do is to separate the organic waste with non-organic waste. Organic waste can be recovered into compost after processing. While non-organic waste can be recycled into various handicrafts such as bags, wallets, lampshades, apakah qnc jelly gamat di jual di apotik , Cara mengobati sinusitis tanpa operasi , Obat sinusitis yang ada di apotik , Obat sinusitis di apotik and Obat sinusitis

3:06 AM  
Blogger Hani Handayani said...

Sharing nih Guys Obat lambung bocor rain Obat penghancur kista tradisional eat Obat keloid di dada meet Obat jari tangan kaku tidak bisa ditekuk Soul Obat Varises Ringan di Kaki, Tangan dan Betis going Obat Penghilang Benjolan di Kemaluan Wanita Sebelah Kiri dan Kanan rest Obat Batu Empedu Ey Obat Lepra Tradisional iy Obat Kelenjar Getah Bening di Leher eum Penjual QnC Jelly Gamat Thanks for all...

3:52 AM  
Blogger Lutfi Kurniawan said...

Given article is very helpful and very useful for me, thank you Cara Mengatasi Beser Obat Vitiligo Cara Mengatasi Nyeri Pundak Cara Mengobati Parotitis Cara Mengatasi Sakit Pinggang

2:54 AM  
Blogger Zihan Amelia said...

I hope this information is useful and can help you overcome the various complaints of illness that you experience

Obat Penurun darah tinggi
Obat Tipes Untuk Anak
Cara Mengatasi Sering Buang Air Kecil
Mengobati Kaligata Pada Ibu Hamil
Cara Mengatasi Nyeri Dada

3:58 AM  
Blogger Jisoo Blackpink said...

This is such a great resource that you are providing and you give it away for free. I love seeing websites that understand the value of providing a quality resource for free. It is the old what goes around comes around routine

risa herbal
penyebab sakit pinggang
cara menyembuhkan mata glaukoma
cara mengobati gagal ginjal
cara menyembuhkan penebalan dinding rahim
obat penghancur kanker
cara menyembuhkan varikokel

8:34 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home