By Janelle Zara
Is the world famous street artist guilty of cultural insensitivity? As his new exhibition opens in Los Angeles he doesn't think he's got a case to answer
There are inherent contradictions to being a commercially successful street artist, and Shepard Fairey will be the first to tell you. “I critique capitalism, yet there are works in here for sale,” he says at the opening of Damaged, a 200-piece exhibition in downtown Los Angeles featuring work that can cost up to $100,000.
As for the corporate collaborations through his design agency, which include marketing campaigns for Nike and Saks Fifth Avenue, “People romanticize struggle and obscurity, and I get that, but it's a very one-dimensional argument to say that people who have money are evil and artists who are poor are virtuous.”