Streetartparis.fr had the opportunity to interview one of the most popular street artists in the world: Shepard Fairey. It’s a big responsibility to interview an artist like him, who is as much involved in business as he is in politics. But yes, as a street art journalist I believe that when we have good intentions and our goal is to assimilate what artists have to show in a positive way, we make the right associations.
– Maria Fernanda Hinke, Brazilian culture journalist.
Shepard Fairey is the brains behind the Obey Giant campaign, and also the Barack Obama Hope poster, which went viral during Obama’s first presidential election campaign. Shepard came to Paris to launch a collection for Levi’s at its flagship store on the Champs-Élysées and also to create a huge wall in the Thirteenth Arrondissement of Paris.
During the interview, we talked about his relationship with the fashion world, the project with Levi’s, all the charity programs that he is involved with and the help he gives to several institutions, and also about how he feels nowadays after being responsible for influencing so many people to vote for Barack Obama with the poster, Hope.
It’s hard to deny that Shepard is a mix of artist, politician and businessman. Talking with him and hearing his strong voice and well articulated answers, I realised that he has a strong power to make a difference and to be a great example. It was really beautiful to hear how he is concerned about using his own profit to help others and the environment by collaborating with non–profit organisations such as Occupy Wall Street, Surfrider Fundation and many others.
When the interview finished, I informally asked him if he was planning to paint something in Paris, and so we had the information first-hand of the address of the wall that he was going to paint (which was kept secret for the first two days of work). The wall was painted over three long days, and we were there following step by step his work in progress, which you can see in the video and in our previous post.
On the third day (Sunday 18 June, 2012) the gallery responsible for the project invited the media, fans and people involved with street art to make a conference on the residential building that he was painting. As a super-star, Shepard was there posing for pictures and giving autographs patiently, even with a lot of work to do before finally finishing the black and red, and involved and beautiful painting.
Between Thursday and Sunday, Streetartparis.fr recorded different moments and perspectives of his stay in Paris to produce a video that you can watch now (see the video above) and discover more about Shepard Fairey’s positive ideas and his performance in Paris.