I recently went back home to Bermuda to stand as co-best man in my brother’s wedding. If you’re wondering what that means, it means that he had two best men. It was an amazing experience, he married an amazing woman and it was an honour to be a part of it. I also had the pleasure of visiting some Art History students at Bermuda College to talk about careers in art.
While I was down, I wanted to check out at least one art show and to my surprise, Shepard Fairey’s Rebel With a Cause exhibition was on display at the Bermuda National Gallery. When it comes to graphic designers, Fairey is about as successful as they come. He’s the force behind the hugely successful Obey clothing brand, Studio Number One (A branding agency) and is the designer of the Obama Hope Poster that was adopted by Barack Obama’s election campaign.
I was exited to see his work in physical form and share my passion for art and design with my children. Before we checked it out though we saw some incredible pieces by local artists and even got to see a Picasso that was on loan to the gallery!
The Fairey exhibition was incredible. It featured some well known older pieces, his Obama posters, his recent series called, We The People and a video of him explaining why he does what he does. I always respected Fairey’s success, but getting to experience his work in person sparked something new inside of me. For the first time, I felt connected to him beyond the fact that we both do graphic design and art. I realized that what I hope to do with Art Pays Me and my artistic practice is very similar to what he’s been doing forever.
Fairey uses his talent to inspire the change that he wishes to see in the world. I don’t believe that all artists should have this philosophy but I’m personally way more engaged in my work when I know it’s gonna kick up some dust and inspire people to think a little differently.