Street Artist Shepard Fairey and his team have been hard at work completing their largest ever mural on the walls of a West Hollywood library parking structure. The 105′ x 67′ foot mural was a huge undertaking for the Fairey team, and stands as a testament to the importance of Fairey in the art world and the skill of his hardworking crew. Artists RETNA and Kenny Scharf also brought their time and talent to the project which was curated by the intrepid minds at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Los Angeles. Warholian’s own Birdman was there to catch the action, and gave us a view of the project from his own perspective.
“When I was told about this mural at the West Hollywood Library, I was not sure what to expect. Retna’s large scale signature blue caligraphy characters radiated from the parking lot from top to bottom. The vibrant blue popped from the white walls, and you could see the large signature brush strokes that has made his work well known. Retna stopped by while I was there and was kind enough to read the message behind his cryptic lettering, which was both poetic and inspiring.”
Kenny Scharf added his surrealistic cartoon imagery to the project, and continues to evolve his unique style. It’s within this new “Scharf” aesthetic in which we are beginning to see an artist that has potential cultural and historical signifigance in the world of art.
But is it Fairey’s behemoth wall that is truly something to behold…
Over the past few years Shepard Fairey’s work has grown larger and more complex. The infamous street artist has surrounded himself by talented team of artists in their own right, making his visions of protest and hope a reality.
Warholian’s Birdman spent a good deal of time on location as the mural was being completed, and watched as “Fairey was lowered from his cherrie picker wearing a hard hat and harness… paint covered his hands and a smile adorned his face. He greeted me kindly before proceeding to grab more paint, heading back on the picker. When not on the picker, Fairey would stroll from side to side below, examining each angle of the wall as the mural developed. Occasionally Shepard would scream up to the crew… “Turn it clockwise! No. The other way..up..up…no down! You just had it!” Shepard is truly a machine, constantly critiquing and refining his work,” stated Birdman.
Shepard’s wife Amanda brought their kids to the site one day, where his youngest daughter screamed “DAADDY!!! Come down here and give us hugs!!” A scene that reminds us that this international street artist is also “Dad” on the side.
Shepard put out a special thank you to assistants Nic Bowers, Dan Flores, Jason Filipow, Kyle Oldoerp, and several interns who worked very hard on the project.
When asked what watching the mural come together was like, Birdman stated, “It’s an impressively massive, beautiful piece of art created with the largest stencils I had ever seen. The entire process was just as impressive…”
by Warholian and Birdman
**Note to L.A. Taxpayers** Shepard was not paid to do the mural, and purchased his own supplies and hired labor.
Location of mural: 8701 El Tovar Pl West Hollywood, CA 90069
Info on West Hollywood Library: http://www.colapublib.org/
Info on Shepard Fairey/Obey: http://obeygiant.com/