When friends from the ICA phoned on Monday to alert me to the fact that Shepard Fairey was going to be wheatpasting in Harvard Square like, right then, the boss handed me a camera, and I dashed over there. Fairey's got an exhibit going up at the ICA in February, and - let's face it - a press release just can't be the right way to spread the word for the former Andre the Giant posse-founding, Providence skater kid turned Obama-poster-designing street art luminary. He's gotta spread the word, street-style! So, rather than battle the frozen, ice-covered disaster that is Boston in February, he got the ball rolling on that this week. (Keep an eye out: word is that he'll been in town till Thursday, so watch for his artwork, coming soon to a blank wall near you.)
Along with Phoenix art critic Greg Cook and a few others, I was fortunate enough to hang with Fairey for the afternoon, while he pasted up two murals in Harvard Square - unfortunately I had to jet before he bolted over the Wall in Central Square, where friends told me he was careful not to disrupt the awesome, ongoing artwork happening there. Below, you'll find interviews, and video footage of Fairey and his crew art-ifying the formerly plain, old red wall outside the Tannery, and a boarded up store across of the Harvard Square T-stop. (We have to note that the Tannery is directly across from Urban Outfitters, which carries Fairey's Obey clothing line. Which means that fans could have watched him slap up artwork, DIY-style, and then walked across the street and bought his clothing. Is he living the dream? Or would the 19-year-old broke artist version of himself be groaning in disbelief?)
Semi-fame seems to be heading nowhere near the artist's head, however. He chatted and handed stickers to anyone who approached him. He even gave a piece of his art (posters he was using for a wheatpasting collage) to an oblivious woman, who walked up to him and asked "Where can I get one of those posters?" then asked someone who that guy was as she walked away. (This was slightly annoying - I had had a friend salvage an unused Fairey piece, which was crumpled and discarded in a trash can, moments earlier). We won't dwell, though. Watch the video below, watch for Greg Cook's piece, in the fishwrap soon, and send us an e-mail if you see Fairey's work elsewhere around town, why don't ya?