Little more than a week old, the new Shepard Fairey (aka Obey Giant) mural in Fishtown has been defaced.
I suppose this should have been expected, as the Shepard Fairey piece outside of The Rocket Cat (also in Fishtown) was defaced a while ago, and writers went over every illegal paste Shepard (and his team) put up while in town. When you’re as big as Shepard Fairey, you’re bound to draw some criticisms, and many of these writers are going over his stuff to draw attention to their disapproval of him. While other writers are just looking to draw attention to themselves. And I’m sure a fair amount are doing it for both reasons.
Why do some of these writers dislike Obey? Well, to be quite honest, I can’t get a clear sense of that. While most of the 100+ commenters to my Instagram photo about this defacing seemed to be angered by it – some of those commenters even noting how weak these particular tags are – there were a handful (mostly other taggers) who seemed to support the defacing claiming that “it’s all just part of the game.” Which, to some extent, I can understand. But not in this case.
At the end of the day, Shepard Fairey has his pay check. Defacing his mural does nothing to him. He will likely never see, or care about your tags on his mural. What it does is piss off people in the neighborhood who like the mural, cost the Mural Arts Program money to restore it (money which they could be investing in other artists,) and cause building owners to question whether or not they want to take the risk of supporting public art on their buildings (another potential loss to artists.)
Want to show Shepard Fairey up? Do better than him. Find spaces that could actually use a little love. Get your name out there by doing good work, not because you took a piss on the guy that’s already pulled himself up.
And please feel free to leave a comment, if you feel I’m wrong, or that I’m missing something.
If you (somehow) missed it last week, Shepard Fairey (aka Obey Giant) was in town installing his first ever large-scale mural in Philadelphia titled ‘Lotus Diamond,’ located on Frankford avenue at Thompson in Fishtown… This is the first of three scheduled projects that Shepard will create with Mural Arts in the coming year!
Shepard, as I was happy to find out for myself, was an incredibly nice dude in person and spend about 45 minutes the one day I was there talking with admires, signing posters, and even posing for one of my #PhillyJumps shots…
Of course, Shepard also installed some less commissioned pieces while in town, including these two in Port Richmond and Fishtown respectively…
Awesome dude, awesome mural… Very excited to see what else Shepard does in Philly this year!
LOVE me some Scrandy! Found this new paste in Northern Liberties over the weekend.