It’s a tremendous responsibility to interview an artist like him, who is also involved with business and politics. But yes, working as a journalist of street art I believe that when we have pure intentions and our goal is to absorb what the artist has to show in a positive way, we always get the right dots to connect.
Shepard Fairey is the brains behind the Obey Giant campaign and also the Barack Obama Hope poster during his campaign for the presidential elections. He came to Paris to launch a collection for Levi’s at its flagship store on the Champs-Elysees, and also to create a huge wall in the thirteen arrondissement.
During the interview we talked about his relationship with the fashion world, the project with Levi’s, all the charity programs that he is involved with and the help he gives to several institutions and also about how he feels nowadays after being responsible and influencing so many people to vote for Barack Obama with the poster “Hope”.
It’s hard to deny that he is a mix of artist, and politician and businessman. Talking with him and hearing his strong voice with well articulated answers I realised that he has a strong power to make a difference and to be a great example. It was really beautiful to hear how he is concerned about using his own profit to help others and the environment by collaborating with non–profit organizations such as Occupy Wall Street, Surfrider Fundation and many others.
When the interview finished, in an informal way I asked him if he was planning to paint something in Paris, and so we had the information first-hand of the address of the wall that he was going to paint (which was kept in secret for the first two days of work). The wall was painted over three long days, and we were there following step by step his work in progress.
On the third day (Sunday 18th June) the gallery responsible for the project , invited the media, fans and people involved with street art to make a conference on the residential building that he was painting. As a super-star Shepard was there posing for pictures and giving autographs with patience even with a lot of work to do before finally finishing the black and red, and involving and beautiful painting.
Between Thursday and Sunday, My life on My Bike and Street Art Paris recorded different moments and perspectives of his stay in Paris to produce a video that you can watch now on the link below and discover more about Shepard Fairey’s positive ideas and his performance in Paris.
Pictures below by – Demian Philip Smith – Street Art Paris and Maria Fernanda Schweichler