The Most Famous Underground Dude in the World
Andre the Giant + Obey = Shepard Fairey = The Most Famous Underground Mainstream Art and Person in the World
You’ve seen the black and white circular man’s head (Andre the Giant) on the streetz, the T’s on the Teens, Hoodies on the 40 or 50 somethings, even the Obama Hope campaign. . Maybe you know who created this art, maybe you don’t. This video tells very candidly who Shepard Fairey is and why he does what he does.
Today is June 2014, 8-10, mabye 12 years ago Shepard visited Hawaii. Me, always looking for the trend before the trend already had my distressed Obey sweat shirt from years before that. So, I heard he was painting a skate park near my house. It was pretty funny, I was expecting a mad house of people and hipsters. I arrived very early in the morning for me on a Saturday (9:30 a.m.) it was just me and him and like 3 other dudes wandering around. About all that happened was I walked over and said Hi, Asked if he needed any help, got blank stares, then looked around a bit, walked back to my car and went home. Nowadays I suspect I would have seen many more people there and I would have taken pictures and blogged about it. He was for sure still on the underground tip at least out here in Hawaii. And today in 2014 it’s still cool to wear an Obey T and for some reason even with Obama art going way mainstream, the shirts tend to be worn by the modern day hipsters and trendsetters. How does he stay so underground yet so mainstream?
That same week, I also remember going to an art discussion a day or 2 after the skate park installation. It did have lots of people at it, but it was boring so I left. The last thing I remember about him coming to Hawaii was being at the contemporary Museum of Art up in the hills above the High School and almost buying a silk screen print for $50. I of course, thought I wanted an original for that price. Silly me, that $50 print goes for more than $1,200 last I checked. But I’m the same person who didn’t buy a Basquait T in the late 80’s. Hey it was $80 and that was when T’s never went above $20. Now Givenchy has $350 T’s, that probably don’t turn into big time money over time like the Basquiat would have. You know, it was funny, even for $80, I did spend a bit of anxious thought about buying the T, there was just something about it. But that was when I traveled with $300 in cash without a credit card. That 4 day trip to NY would have been pretty ugly without the 80 bucks, but I would sure like to have the $50,000 or whatever its worth now.
Next artist I find, I’m buying whatever they’re selling. The funniest place I noticed an Andre the Giant sticker was in a bathroom stall at the JFK airport in NYC. Where’s the coolest place you’ve seen Shepard’s art? BTW: What’s the most expensive T-shirt you’ve ever seen? See you on the streetz or on the streetz…blog.