While going through some photographs, I came across some shots I took in 2009 of Shepard Fairey murals that had been plastered onto various exterior brick walls around town. The one above is a detail from one at the corner of Rutland and Shawmut Streets in Boston’s South End. (My apologies for the weak quality of the photos.)
I know that many people, including the Boston Police Department, saw his putting up of these paper murals as acts of vandalism. I’m not going to argue with that, but I did (still do) think they were beautiful. I loved seeing them. At the time, I was still working in Harvard Square, and there were several of them there. There were a few more in my South End neighborhood.
Shepard Fairey got a plea deal, avoiding felony charges for putting these up. You can read about that in WBUR’s Shepard Fairey: No Hard Feelings, Boston.
I recall there was a show of Shepard Fairey’s work at Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) around that same time. I went with a friend—another artist—and we spent the day viewing the intricate graphic patterns up close and then stepping back to admire how they all came together to create a larger symbolic graphic image. I found the details of the designs so interesting to examine.
There are a few films out, such as Obey the Giant, that show him and his team putting up street projects, using stencils, razors and spray paint.
The murals seen above have all been gone for a number of years now. The mural in the first Harvard Square photo shown above (in the entryway to The Tannery) began to tear and peel. It looked as though it may have had some help getting peeled away. Eventually, it was a ragged mess. And then, gone.
Have a great weekend.