Shepard Fairey @ Jonathan LeVine Gallery06.27.07   |   Posted in: Art & Design, Events   |   By: Kellis Landrum
Tags: Fine Art, Gallery, Graphic Design, Illustration, Shepard Fairey
Shepard Faireyâ€™s new show E Pluribus Venom opens to the public this saturday at Jonathan Levine Gallery in NY. This show will be the artistâ€™s first solo show at Jonathan LeVine Gallery and will feature a second, off-site exhibition space for the artist to exhibit large-scale installations and murals on wood and canvas. Shepard Faireyâ€™s provocative collection includes politically charged paintings, screen prints, stencils, album covers and mixed media pieces rich with metaphor, humor and seductive decorative elements.
E Pluribus Venom, which translates â€œout of many, poison,â€ is derived from E Pluribus Unum (out of many, one) an early motto adopted by the U.S. government, which appears on U.S. coins and dollar bills. For Shepard Fairey, many becoming one, or a loss of power and the influence of the individual in favor of homogeny is a symptom of a society in decline. E Pluribus Venom entails a two-fold metaphor: referring to the poison in the American system and the individuals who are motivated by venom and have anger towards this system.
The exhibition is comprised of artworks designed to scrutinize the dichotomy of symbols and methods associated with ideologies of the American Dream. Faireyâ€™s artwork comments on underpinnings of the capitalist machine, critiquing those who support blind nationalism and war. Fairey addresses monolithic institutional authority, the role of counter culture, and independent individuals who question the cultural paradigm. Utilizing currency motifs and a Norman Rockwell aesthetic, Fairey employs the graphic language of the subjects they critique. Blending Art Nouveau, hippie, and revolutionary propaganda styles, he celebrates subjects advocating peace. His works blur the perceived barriers between propaganda and escapist decoration, political responsibility and humor with the intent of stimulating both viscerally and intellectually.