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Last week, Shepard Fairey created a new mural at 161 Bowery, near the corner of Broome Street in Lower Manhattan. This massive project was organized by L.I.S.A. Project NYC, the non-profit which has been bringing wonderful street art to Little Italy and the surrounding areas, creating downtown Manhattan’s first mural district. We had the opportunity to shoot these photos of Fairey and his team at work.

Today,  Shepard Fairy is most famous for designing the 2008 Obama “Hope” poster,  however in the 90s he was primarily focused on stickers and stencils. Inspired by New York graffiti artists including REVS and COST, as well as the skater community, Fairey created the OBEY Giant project in 1989, featuring an image of André the Giant.  By the end of the 90’s, his work was ubiquitous around the city, as well as other cities across the country.  This street project blossomed into a wildly successful art career for Fairey and an internationally known commercial brand. Fairey’s career path, as well as his experimentation with stickers and postering, influenced and inspired many artists who are making art in the streets today.

Shepard Fairey at work.

Shepard Fairey at work.

The new mural, approximately 30×40 feet, was completed in just three days. It reads, “We own the future. Transform our world with creative response.”  It brings a clear and refreshing message at a time when re-development threatens much of the public art work  and creative culture for which the neighborhood is historically known.

The boom lift.

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Fairey and a member of his team on the lift.

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Up at the top of the wall, preparing the stencil.

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Applying the flower part of the stencil.

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Using blades to cut the stencil shapes.

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Painting and stenciling the wall.

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The mural, in progress at the end of the first day.

Working on the OBEY signature on the third day.

Working on the OBEY signature on the third day.

 

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The mural on the third day, almost completed.

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Home stretch. Beast mode.

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The completed mural. ““We own the future. Transform our world with creative response.”

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Be sure to get downtown and check out the mural for yourself. For more on The L.I.S.A. Project NYC, read our recent interview with Wayne Rada, founder and curator, and check out their website.

Get in touch with the author at Rachel Fawn Alban  and  follow her on instagram.

 

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