My piece for the Coney Island Art Walls was inspired by both Coney Island’s ocean side location, and my ongoing criticism of environmental destruction generally, but climate change caused by oil and gas specifically. Coney Island was affected by “Superstorm Sandy,” a hurricane which many attribute to climate change, so I thought my image of the couple by the beach was especially appropriate, but the overall oil and gas theme is a thread throughout. I’m always excited to find a solution that addresses site-specific variables but also features themes that I think are universal and relevant to my entire body of work.
Shepard Fairey was born in Charleston, S.C. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, R.I. While at R.I.S.D. he created the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign, with imagery that has changed the way people see art and the urban landscape. His work has evolved into an acclaimed body of art, which includes the 2008 "Hope" portrait of Barack Obama, which can be found in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Fairey’s 25-year career started in 1989 with his sticker campaign. In addition to his guerrilla street art presence, the artist has executed more than 50 large-scale painted public murals around the world as of 2015. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and many others.
Fairey recently opened a solo museum show “Your Eyes Here” with the CAC Málaga as well as a solo exhibition and public murals in Detroit, Michigan as part of his Printed Matters series. The artist created new works for mural projects in Berlin and Munich in summer 2015.