Iconic wall painting created by Shepard Fairey

September 2018

The American street artist Shepard Fairey, known as OBEY, completed painting a facade of the tram depot as a part of 3rd street art biennale ARTMOSSPHERE. The famous artist came to Russia, specifically to create his first monumental painting and open a personal exhibition in the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.

The name of Shepard Fairey is inscribed in the history of street art as the creator of a number of socially resonant posters, including the most famous one – HOPE, which was made for the election campaign of Barack Obama, as well as the artistic symbol Obey giant, which took the form of a subculture and is already developing without the participation of the author.

A prominent representative of American pop art, standing in the same row with Andy Warhol and Banksy, created in Moscow a large-scale work Tunnel Vision in his signature style. The work presents the aesthetics of Russian constructivism, but in a more modern color palette.

The painting on the facade depicts a printing press against the background of the rays made in the art deco style as well as the artist’s iconic landmark – the Gear Star logo with a portrait of the French wrestler Andre Giant inside. This symbol often appears in his works. The inscription reads: “Art should be distributed everywhere” and symbolizes the author’s personal philosophy, inspired by Vladimir Mayakovsky and Keith Haring creative works.

“I believe that the mural in a public space is just as powerful a means of influencing minds and spreading artistic ideas as the replication of my posters. Therefore, in the work there is a printing press, it symbolizes, relatively speaking, the monumental propaganda in the modern sense. The work is named in an ironic way: after all, art expands, rather than narrows, our view of the world,” – commented the artist.

Mural precedes the first personal museum exhibition of Shepard Fairy in Russia The Force Majeure Project, which features the works he created during the last 25 years, as well as his most recent oeuvre made specifically for the MMOMA exhibition. The display is structured on thematic principle and shows the key motifs and stages of the artist’s evolution, from his fascination with underground art and Soviet Constructivist Art to Pop Art and advertising design.

The project is launched with the collaboration of the creative group ARTMOSPHERE, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art, the RuArts Foundation with the support of the Italian gallery Wunderkammern.

With the participation of the Moscow Department of Transport, the show continues outside the museum venue in the urban space. First-ever in Russia, a mural by Shepard Fairey decorates the façade of a building at 12, Mytnaya street.

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