It’s been more than a decade, but Shepard Fairey is back in Detroit.
Printed Matters, his latest solo exhibition, opens on Friday, May 22 at Library Street Collective. The show, part of a continuous series of exhibitions, focuses on the importance of printed material in Fairey’s work. The show includes serigraphs on paper, editions on wood and metal, and fine art collages. His signature iconography—milk-fed on punk rock, fuck-you-make-me D.I.Y. ethos and propagandist glory—is all on mighty display. “Some people say print is on its way out, that it will be wiped out by digital media,” says Shepard via press release, “but I say you can never replace the provocative, tactile experience of an art print on the street or in a gallery. Printing still matters.”
Arriving in Detroit last weekend, Fairey and his crew hit the ground running. In the lead up to the gallery opening and despite the weather, they quickly got to work on two new public murals, one of which is Fairey’s tallest public painting to date. At 180 feet by 60 feet, it looms off of the former Compuware Building in downtown. The second mural is part of Public Matter, the outdoor exhibition platform located behind LSC gallery in a newly redeveloped causeway known as the Belt.
“Everyone can relate to Detroit’s struggle as a community and understand the need for people powered projects in the city,” says Shepard. “Murals and public art are free to everyone and create energy and positive impact in communities; the art becomes a conversation starter or common reference point and that is good for public morale and discourse.”
Library Street Collective will unveil its expanded gallery space at the public opening of Printed Matters. The exhibition runs from May 22 through August 15, 2015.