Obey Giant

Patsy and I have had a comedy of errors preventing us from getting over to the ICA to see Shepard Fairey’s retrospective so we had set aside this afternoon to finally go while the show is still running. On the way over we heard on the radio that there was going to be a closing party for the show there tonight – as soon as I heard that I thought ‘I wonder if we’ll catch a glimpse of him while we’re there.’ Sure enough, shortly after we arrived, I heard Shep’s voice from the gallery nearby. He was giving a tour to a group of high school kids – I couldn’t believe my luck! I said hi and reminded Shep that we used to see each other in the printmaking studios at RISD – we didn’t know each other well back there, but I’ve always been proud to have known him a little bit as a kid, and it meant a lot to me that he was gracious and said he remembered me.

I snuck a couple of photos of his talk, despite the oddly draconian no-photo police wandering the galleries.

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Shep, you have a posse

Long ago, when I was a printmaking major in the early 90s, there was this guy Shep who was a year ahead of me, spending all his time in the silkscreen studio. At the time he was mostly making his now-iconic “Andre the Giant has a posse” stickers. I remember during Buddy Cianci’s first campaign, Shep (or someone) plastered Andre’s face over Buddy’s on a giant billboard that was disrupting RISD’s campus. (This had some ramifications, but I’m still proud of Shep for it.)

And now Shep’s been embraced not only by the Obama campaign, but by Time magazine, and I hear he has a show coming up early next year at the ICA.

So here’s to you Shep – I’m proud to have known you, grateful for your help figuring out the photo-silkscreen process, and glad to know that _someone_ I went to school with is actually making it in the art world.