It seems every heavy hitter in the US street art scene is getting up and getting down in Denver this week for the DNC. The folks at the Andenken Gallery have been hosting a mind blowing collaborative effort of works titled Manifest Hope at their space in Denver. Many of the heavyweights of the scene have been hitting the streets as well.
It seems that Shepard Fairey was arrested last night while putting up some less than legal work and was detained for 16 hours before his release. Ron English who created a stir with his Abraham Obama image is at it again in Denver as is the one and only David Choe and a host of others.
The enthusiasm that all the artists have for this campaign is plain to see and some of the images that are part of this exhibit speak louder than words. The way that street artists who usually would be living and working and holding their ideals on the fringes of society have rallied around the Obama campaign is truly inspiring.
I was able to see the effect that political street art has on the masses way back on Super Tuesday when I received some Shepard Fairey Progress prints in hand thru the mail less than 2 hours before Hillary Clinton was to speak at Clark University. I took a few of the pasters up to Clark and proudly stood silently (for the most part) outside of the Hillary rally. I was yelled at by middle aged folks, and there were plenty of high school and college aged kids who flocked to the image and would start talking to me. After a while people were coming up and wanting to have there picture taken next to the paster. That is when I began to understand the power of street art and this image. The Shepard Fairey image has become THE definitive image of the campaign and I am happy to say that I had these pasters in my hand on Super Tuesday which was basically the first big drop of this now iconic image on the US consciousness.
The fact that the first Shepard Fairey image mushroomed into something much larger, with tens of high profile artists producing limited edition prints with the proceeds going to the Obama campaign and generating buzz and awareness to a whole new group of people is astonishing.