Perhaps Maynard James Keenan would have would take issue with me, but if there was any doubt that Shepard Fairey has sold out, Levi’s hired Fairey to develop a clothing line, complete with a paste up at Times Square, should remove all doubt. The art? Obey Giant in the shape of a jeans pocket, and previously work (“Stay Up Girl” 2004 (Plate 196 in “Supply and Demand”, “Obey Factory” 2000 (Plate 201 ibid), and two others) defaced with Levi’s Giant and Levi’s new slogan, “Go Forth.”
Granted the guy has to pay the bills, and he’s done commercial work before, but there seems like a line is crossed when you’re repurposing your own work for a marketing campaign, especially when your art is has a very strong anti-conformity, anti-establisment, anti-commerical bent to it. Then to top it off, you write:
One of my main concepts with the [“This is Your God” show in 2003 at the Six Space Gallery in Los Angeles] (and the campaign as a whole) was that obedience is the most valuable currency. People rarely consider how much power they sacrifice by blindly following a self-serving corporation’s marketing agenda, and how their spending habits reflect the direction i which they choose to transfer power.
At least the irony of the situation isn’t lost on one of us.