Tuesday, January 31, 2012 , Updated 2:55 p.m., February 2, 2012
UPDATED: Famous artist Shepard Fairey paints West Dallas
He says there's a growing art scene in Dallas, which is why he agreed to come here.
UPDATE: Check out a photo gallery of Shepard Fairey's murals in Dallas here.
Illustrator Shepard Fairey, who is most famous for his Barack Obama "hope" poster from the 2008 presidential campaign, is in Dallas this week to paint several murals carrying messages of peace. He was invited to the city by members of the Dallas Contemporary and will play host to an event called Phenomenon on February 4, billed as a "neon-inspired dance party."
While painting, Fairey is also working with artists from Sour Grapes, a group of graffiti artists in Dallas. We caught Fairey in action as he painted a mural on Singleton Boulevard in West Dallas and had him talk about his Dallas projects.
Pegasus News: What are the themes of all the murals?
Shepard Fairey: The themes of all these murals are basically peace and harmony. Since I do a lot of political work but some building owners don't want me to be too controversial, I'm using subject matter that is true to what I believe in but is, I think, pretty much universally accepted as positive. So, I used my wife as a model. She's in a meditative state and that's what this mural is going to be. The mural around the corner says "Rise Above," but basically [is] trying to encourage people to get along and be peaceful.
Why did you choose Dallas for this mural project?
I'm friends with Peter Doroshenko, the director of the Dallas Contemporary Museum, and worked on a street art project with him in New Castle and in the U.K., and now he's here and suggested that I come to do some murals here. There's a -- seems like a growing art scene in Dallas, which is exciting. So, I'm all for putting my art work on the city streets in any metropolis where a lot of people are going to see it. I think art should be for more than just indoors and galleries and museums. I think it's a great way to create a dialog in public space.
What's it been like to work with the Sour Grapes?
The sour Grapes crew offered us some other walls to hit. We're going to try to get as much finished as possible so that we can go and just restyle whatever walls are available. It's really generous for Dallas locals to offer us wall space and some guidance and great hospitality.
Besides the hours Fairey spends painting, he told us he's staying at the Belmont Hotel in Oak Cliff and has eaten at the nearby restaurant Smoke. "I'm from the South so I love good southern food with barbecue," he said.
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