“ART AND POLITICS”: SHEPARD FAIREY (OBAMA “HOPE” POSTER CREATOR) MEETS STUDENTS AT “SANTA FE UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN”

Launched in 2011 by the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, Artists for Positive Social Change  is a “university-wide series of events, lectures, and performances that highlights one high-profile issue, artist or genre each year.” Inaugurating this five-year initiative, 2011-12 was the year of hip-hop and saw Public Enemy descend on the SFUAD campus for a free concert.  The school hosted a graffiti workshop alongside classes in writing rap lyrics, hip-hop music and breakdancing. The goal was to distill hip-hop as a significant form of communication, as an art form that at its inception “gave voice to voiceless people.” This first year of Artists for Positive Social Change also proved that SFUAD is kinda cool.

Now in its second year, the theme is “Art and Political Activism.” Behold Shepard Fairey, who came to campus last Sunday night (February 17, 2013) for a Q&A with SFUAD’s graphic design department chair, David Grey.  During the week of February 18, Fairey will also designed and painted a permanent outdoor mural on the school campus. This is the artist whose 1990s Andre the Giant sticker went viral before viral meant on the Internet.  It was a different kind of dissemination, one grounded in street art.  He created the sticker while attending the Rhode Island School of Design where his tendencies toward punk, skateboarding and other countercultures were sometimes disparaged by professors.  Fairey admitted that he never thought he’d be taken seriously as a fine artist. If he had, he alleged, it might have paralyzed him.

In 2008, Fairey designed Barack Obama’s Hope Poster, the very icon of Obama’s grassroots energy.  That poster is why Fairey typifies this year’s “art and political activism” theme.  Its impact was immense and although not officially affiliated with the presidential campaign, it alone must have mobilized hundreds of thousands of voters. In Fairey’s words, he is making art for the world he wants to live in.  That alone is inspiration for SFUAD artists.

The Hope Poster’s imagery evolved from yes, an AP photo, but also its subversion of visual culture. In all of his work, the artist pulls from Russian Constructivism, pop art, hip-hop, punk, skateboarding, and artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, and Barbara Kruger.  He raids the cultural image bank and riffs on it, appropriating elements to change the way we see things and ideally even think about things.  ‘Fair use’ copyright battles aside, Fairey asks us to “consume with discretion” and on his website http://www.obeygiant.com/about sites Heidegger’s account of Phenomenology to “enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured.”

If one thing was clear from listening to Fairey talk, it’s that he knows his culture.  From band trivia and blogging to politics and economics, this guy knows what’s up and he probably has an opinion about it.  He quoted Led Zeppelin, wore a black Ramones t-shirt, spoke openly about “selling out,” patience, his process and how it’s changed with time and the Internet, and when prompted, admitted to being arrested 16 times.  The Greer Garson Theatre was packed with students and community members who lined up for a Q&A that could’ve lasted all night.  Luckily, students have the opportunity all week to ask Fairey questions as he painted an indelible public artwork on the SFUAD campus.

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/News/NewsRoom/Shepard-Fairey-To-Paint-Mural-On-SFUAD-Campus.aspx

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/About/ArtistsForPositiveChange.aspx

https://www.facebook.com/santafeuniversity

www.youtube.com/user/SantaFeUniversity

http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/RSS/SFURssFeed.aspx

“THE LOST WARHOLS”: TWO IMAGES PERSONALLY SENT TO ME BY KAREN BYSTEDT

 PHOTOS BY KAREN BYSTEDT

“THE LOST WARHOLS” – PHOTO BY KAREN BYSTEDT

Three days ago I posted an article about the first limited edition print of Karen Bystedt’s “The Lost Warhols” (www.KarenBystedt.com) collection at the Amber Lounge Grand Prix Charity Fashion Event. That post – without images of the event – is still gaining a lot of traffic and it’s at the top of my views. So, in consideration of this huge attention, via e-mail I kindly asked  Karen Bystedt for a pic about “The Lost Warhols” Collection. She personally replied forwarding me two images, that I’m glad to put on line.  Someone said: “Don’t be afraid to ask”. I did so…

I’m so grateful to Karen Bystedt for this wonderful gift which I’m very glad to share with my readers and fellow bloggers. Thank you so much Karen! Your kindness is up to your enchanting and passionate art!           

ABOUT “THE LOST WARHOLS”

Bystedt’s photographs, taken at “The Factory” in New York when she was 19 years old, are some of the most unique images ever captured of the famous pop artist.

“THE LOST WARHOLS” – PHOTO BY KAREN BYSTEDT – IMAGE BOUGHT BY PRINCE ALBERT AT THE AMBER LOUNGE EVENT

In 1982, Bystedt was a film and photography student at NYU. After seeing pop art icon Andy Warhol in a Barney’s ad, she envisioned him as the ultimate male model and decided she wanted to photograph him. On a whim, Bystedt called Andy Warhol’s office, known as “The Factory”, and to her surprise, Andy himself picked up the phone. She told him about a book she was working on featuring the top male models in America, which she subsequently published, called “Not Just Another Pretty Face” (Plume/1983). After hearing about some of the famous male models she had in her roster, Andy was flattered and agreed to be pose for her. Andy’s secret desire was to be a model. Bystedt captured Warhol as he had never been seen before, posing for the camera and becoming the subject rather than the creator. Along with her photo session, she sat down with Andy for a candid interview where they discussed everything from fashion and politics, to Andy’s personal hopes, dreams, and icons. Commenting on the state of the world, Warhol told Bystedt, “In this country right now, since there’s no war on, everybody’s a beauty. It’s really scary. They’re here because they are not in the army.”

Bystedt kept her Andy Warhol photographs hidden from the world until now. Their sensational debut and the acquisition of one of the first of her rare prints by The Prince of Monaco has set the stage for collectors and fans of Andy Warhol all over the world. Bystedt is offering 44″ x 44″ limited edition prints and 24″ x 24″ box sets of “The Lost Warhols” that include ten unique prints as well as a proof sheet and quote sheets from her interview with Andy.

Please visit www.KarenBystedt.com to view “The Lost Warhols” Collection.

ABOUT KAREN BYSTEDT

Karen Bystedt is a photographer and author based in Los Angeles. What sets Bystedt apart from other celebrity photographers is her unique ability to see stars before they have risen, roles before they have been played, and to support those manifesting their dreams. In 1993, Bystedt published “Before They Were Famous”, a collection of intimate photographs and candid interviews with actors such as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Sandra Bullock, Robert Downey Jr., Courtney Cox, Lawrence Fishburne, Laura Dern, Patrick Dempsey and many more. She continues to work in print, editorial and advertising in Los Angeles.

NEVER BEFORE SEEN MODELING PORTRAITS OF ANDY WARHOL DEBUT; FIRST PRINT ACQUIRED BY PRINCE OF MONACO

PHOTOS BY KAREN BYSTEDT 

Last May Prince Albert II of Monaco won the bid on the first limited edition print of Karen Bystedt’s “The Lost Warhols” (www.KarenBystedt.com) collection at the Amber Lounge Grand Prix Charity Fashion Event. The winning bid came in at 32,000 Euros (over $40,000 USD). Bystedt’s photographs, taken at “The Factory” in New York when she was 19 years old, are some of the most unique images ever captured of the famous pop artist.

THE LOST WARHOLS – COURTESY OF KAREN BYSTEDT – IMAGE BOUGHT BY PRINCE ALBERT AT THE AMBER LOUNGE EVENT

In 1982, Bystedt was a film and photography student at NYU. After seeing pop art icon Andy Warholin a Barney’s ad, she envisioned him as the ultimate male model and decided she wanted to photograph him. On a whim, Bystedt called Andy Warhol’s office, known as “The Factory”, and to her surprise, Andy himself picked up the phone. She told him about a book she was working on featuring the top male models in America, which she subsequently published, called “Not Just Another Pretty Face” (Plume/1983). After hearing about some of the famous male models she had in her roster, Andy was flattered and agreed to be pose for her. Andy’s secret desire was to be a model. Bystedt captured Warhol as he had never been seen before, posing for the camera and becoming the subject rather than the creator. Along with her photo session, she sat down with Andy for a candid interview where they discussed everything from fashion and politics, to Andy’s personal hopes, dreams, and icons. Commenting on the state of the world, Warhol told Bystedt, “In this country right now, since there’s no war on, everybody’s a beauty. It’s really scary. They’re here because they are not in the army.”

THE LOST WARHOLS – COURTESY OF KAREN BYSTEDT

Bystedt kept her Andy Warhol photographs hidden from the world until now. Their sensational debut and the acquisition of one of the first of her rare prints by The Prince of Monaco has set the stage for collectors and fans of Andy Warhol all over the world. Bystedt is offering 44″ x 44″ limited edition prints and 24″ x 24″ box sets of “The Lost Warhols” that include ten unique prints as well as a proof sheet and quote sheets from her interview with Andy.

Visit www.KarenBystedt.com to view “The Lost Warhols” Collection.

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About Karen Bystedt:

Karen Bystedt is a photographer and author based in Los Angeles. What sets Bystedt apart from other celebrity photographers is her unique ability to see stars before they have risen, roles before they have been played, and to support those manifesting their dreams. In 1993, Bystedt published “Before They Were Famous”, a collection of intimate photographs and candid interviews with actors such as Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Sandra Bullock, Robert Downey Jr., Courtney Cox, Lawrence Fishburne, Laura Dern, Patrick Dempsey and many more. She continues to work in print, editorial and advertising in Los Angeles.

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I’m so grateful to Karen Bystedt for givin’ permission to publish her two images. The framed image is the one bought by Prince Albert at the Amber Lounge event. Thank you so much Karen! R.A.