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Obey Giant’s Street Art and music, an explosive combination!

Shepard Fairey (Obey) has always had a great passion for music. When he was a young student at the Rhode Island School of Design, he frequented the underground scene of Providence and skateboarded to the beat of punk rock. His firsthome-madeworks in the punk DIY (do it yourself) spirit were tee-shirts with stencils inspired by his favourite bands.

Shepard Fairey: punk-rock works

In the last few years of his career, Shepard Fairey began to create visuals inspired by songs by the Sex Pistols, Black Sabbath and many other groups that made punk, rock and rap history. This led to the creation of his “album covers“, original artworks that also recall the format of the album covers.

For this artist, album covers are like a visual counterpart to the music he loves. If you want to enjoy these works to the full, we recommend that you look at them with the songs they are inspired by in the background 😉

Shepard Fairey, Countdown to Armageddon (2012), Silkscreen and Mixed Media Collage on Paper, HPM (Album Cover), Edition 8/8, 31,12 x 31,12 cm
Music: Public Enemy – Countdown to Armageddon
Shepard Fairey, National Acrobat (2012), Silkscreen and Mixed Media Collage on Paper, HPM (Album Cover), Edition 8/8, 31,12 x 31,12 cm
Music: Black Sabbath – National Acrobat
Shepard Fairey, Re-ignition Transmission (2013), Silkscreen and Mixed Media Collage on Paper, HPM (Album Cover), Edition 4/8, 30,48 x 30,48 cm
Music: Bad brains – Re-ignition

Shepard Fairey and music

For Shepard, music is a very powerful medium, perhaps even more powerful than the visual arts:

I’ve had some very moving encounters with art in my life, especially in the street, but nothing can compare with the first time I heard the boots marching and first chord of the Sex Pistols’ “Holidays in the Sun.” – Shepard Fairey

Music not only touches the mind and heart of the listener, but it can rely on lyrics to convey important messages, and the very lifestyle of the musicians can become an example of emancipation. In this sense, music is also political and finds a point of contact with Shepard’s committed art.