Artist Shepard Fairey, known for poster art such as "OBEY" and the famous "Hope" image used in Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, recently paid a visit to graffiti artist Jaque Fragua at Fragua's studio in Santa Fe. "[Jaque] showed me some great works in progress as well as taking me to an awesome restaurant with murals on the walls by him, Kofie, and El Mac," Fairey wrote on his OBEY/Giant blog. "Thanks for the hospitality Jaque!"
Fairey was in town to participate in the "Artists for Positive Social Change" series at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and before he left he contributed a work of his own on the school's campus — a mural titled "Make Art, Not War":
Fairey is a familiar artist to Indian country for his work with photographer Aaron Huey, a collaboration that yielded the famous "Black Hills Are Not For Sale" image, which was installed on the Baracuda Wall at the corner of Melrose and Faifax in Los Angeles in 2011 (photo by Juan Luis Garcia, from AaronHuey.com):
But for Fragua, this brush (our apologies) with street art royalty might be the second-most exciting event in his week — that's because his show NATIVEAMERICA opens tonight at the 1Spot Gallery in Phoenix, Arizona (918 North 6th St.). A reception will be held from 6-10 PM featuring a DJ set by Musa Mind. Fragua describes the work on dispay thusly:
"The body of work consists of paintings that revolve in the realm of Native American art itself and the aesthetics it has acquired based on economic values and the lack of true cultural substance. The imagery is derived from billboard advertisements, southwestern textiles, reservation folk art, corporate logos, traditional pueblo designs, and my overall savage spray-paint style.
Through my travels across the US and beyond, I have witnessed the vision Native Americans have grown into and continue to perpetuate. This is a vision based on the ol' American Dream. We have succumbed to live up to a genre not defined by our own selves. This is not indigenous, nor is a life of brash consumption conducive to the reality of our natural environment. I plan to investigate and dissect our Western cultural adaptations in order to find new ways to adapt to the true reality, through these paintings."
Here are a couple of examples from the show as well as the official flyer; you can also visit vimeo.com to see a complementary video Fragua has made.