The Splasher caught?

Wooster Collective is reporting that two guys caught trying to set off a stinkbomb at a Shepard Fairey opening in Dumbo last night might be tied to the "Splasher." Meanwhile, Fairey, interviewed by New York, says nearly all of his pieces have been hit by the Splasher's paint bucket. "I think people who don’t do street art are more bummed out by this than the artists. They look at it as sacred, but the street artists have this understanding that everything they do will ultimately be destroyed,"he said. He admits, he's irritated by the destruction of his work and calls for a little street justice.

"I think he needs to be caught. I’m totally about peace, but I’m totally about justice too. I wouldn’t kill him. I’d just beat him up."

(Thanks, Taylor.)


justinph said...

Perhaps I'm the only one, but I think that the splasher is well within his rights. It is more counter-culture than the dudes who are supposedly counter-culture. Shepard-I-have-a-clothing-line-and-a-brand-Fairey is angry? Boo hoo.

On the other hand, setting off a stink bomb, though, that's dangerous. Could perhaps be considered terrorism.

Paul Schmelzer said...

I agree, to a point. When I saw ads for "Obey" underpants in Juxtapoz, I thought Shepard lost some street cred. Although, being something of a dork, who am I to dole out the label? In the New York magazine piece he addresses the sell-out charge:

"Every college student whose parents still pay their rent has got some stupid opinion about it that’s totally na├»ve. Posters, stickers, getting arrested, paying fines, travel — it all costs money and I couldn’t have done that stuff otherwise. It’s a matter of people being realistic. You’re a writer — let’s say you’re criticized for having work printed in a magazine. And people are saying, “You need to write all your shit in chalk on the sidewalk, you fucking piece of shit sell out.” What would you do?"

Anonymous said...

Sounds like he is setting up a bit of a straw-man argument based on that quote. A writer can't really be equated to an interventionist artist or artwork.
A writer needs to publish, to have their work seen, it is their "street".

I used to really like street and still do appreciate most of it, especially billboard liberation. However it seems like so many of the "successful" street artist become what they critique. They move from being a potentially serendipitous experience for an urban traveller to creating work for PR/Advertising companies or just another glossy reproduction in pseudo-arts graphics rag. The problem with reproducing or gallery-izing this type of work is that it loses its effect of wonder or deterritorialization, since it is published in a place where we would expect to find it. I don't buy into the argument that the only way for a street artist to survive is by selling or reproducing their work. There are other options, like teaching, public/social services-so many ways to get paid, while working for social and political change, it is just that none of these options offer the fame or $$$ that selling your work in a gallery can.

PS: I love the fact that he calls himself peaceful and recognizes that all street artwork will be destroyed, yet stills feels the need to beat up the "splasher"!