Citizen artist and OBEY clothing founder Shepard Fairey is painting and meeting the people in San Francisco this week.
To kick off American Civics, an exhibit of Fairey paintings opening at San Francisco Art Exchange this Saturday, August 13, the artist is replicating two of the show's works—portraits of Caesar Chavez and Fannie Lee Chaney—in mural format at two SF venues: 453 Hayes Street (at Linden) and 20th and Alabama, respectively.
Fairey, of course, may be best known for his Barack Obama "Hope" poster, which was widely disseminated during that magical 2008 presidential election cycle, but the artist also has a fine reputation for being a constant champion of social justice causes.
American Civics will showcase Fairey paintings inspired by the vivid images of photographer Jim Marshall, who captured the counterculture, civil rights, and antiwar movements of the 1960s and '70s, as well as portraits of icons of that time, including Johnny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan. The show at San Francisco Art Exchange will aim to cultivate a dialogue around such issues as voting rights, mass incarceration, workers' rights, income inequality, and gun culture.
Shepard Fairey's "Workers' Rights" riffs on a Jim Marshall portrait of Cesar Chavez Mural (Courtesy of Shepard Fairey)
The first mural, "Workers' Right," will replicate Fairey's painting of Jim Marshall's photographic portrait of Cesar Chavez, taken in Sacramento after Chavez completed his 300-mile march in support of farmworkers' rights. Fairey will be painting on location at 453 Hayes Street today and tomorrow.
Where: 453 Hayes St. at Linden (Hayes Valley)
When: August 9-10, noon until sundown.
Fairey's "Voting Rights" features Fannie Lee Chaney(Courtesy of Shepard Fairey)
Later this week, Fairey will paint a second mural at 20th and Alabama Streets, this one of Fannie Lee Chaney, who was photographed by Marshall on the day she learned that her son, James Chaney, had been killed for registering African Americans to vote.
Where: 701 Alabama St. at 20th St. (Mission)
When: August 11-12, noon until sundown
Both murals will be outdoors and available for public viewing permanently. Fairey will also be attending the opening of American Civics at the San Francisco Art Exchange on Saturday, Aug. 13, where he will be available for a meet-and-greet with fans from 2 to 4pm. // American Civics at the San Francisco Art Exchange, 458 Geary St. (Lower Nob Hill), sfae.com