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OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey

The exhibition will continue until October 27, 2024.

Shepard Fairey’s (OBEY) first solo exhibition in Italy at the Fabbrica del Vapore!

OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey brings to Italy for the first time a museum exhibition entirely dedicated to Shepard Fairey (OBEY), one of the most influential and internationally acclaimed street artists whose art has shown the evolution of Street Art and its languages. The exhibition, open from May 16 to October 27, 2024 in the Cathedral spaces at the Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, will offer the public an unprecedented opportunity to explore Obey’s artistic universe.

Find out more!

The exhibition is curated by the artist and Wunderkammern gallery in co-production with Fabbrica del Vapore and with the support of the City of Milan.

OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey is a visual and conceptual journey through the artist’s 35-year career thanks to a rich collection of works personally selected by him: alongside a body of work that is among the most representative of his artistic production, numerous unique pieces conceived especially for the occasion will be presented.

Shepard Fairey (Charleston, 1970) is the artist behind Obey. Known for the “HOPE” poster, a portrait of Barack Obama and emblem of the 2008 presidential campaign, Obey is distinguished by an essential and bold style with a minimalist palette guided by the hip hop and punk cultures that taught the artist to question social conventions. This is the poetics with which Fairey animates all of his works, inviting the audience to question and take a stance on relevant current issues.

The five sections of the Milan exhibition are inspired by the most representative themes of Shepard Fairey’s art: propaganda, peace and justice, music, environment and new works.

Thanks to an immersive path designed especially for the Fabbrica del Vapore, each section will offer the viewer the street artist’s personal vision and deep reflection will be stimulated.

The exhibition opens with works from the iconic and evocative images and symbols of the famous OBEY campaign with which the artist has elevated street art to a powerful means of expression. It then continues through works in the peace and justice section in which, through the power of images, Shepard Fairey draws attention to issues such as human rights, abuse of power, war and peace. Particular attention is paid to the latter theme, closely connected with the choice of the Fabbrica del Vapore as the site of his first solo exhibition in Italy: a factory of material for railways and tramways that went through the two world wars always refusing to convert its activity into war production.

Suggestive and powerful are the works in the environment section where the artist wishes to open a dialogue with the viewer reminding him of the importance of community in safeguarding our planet.

“Humanity seems to be in a perpetual state of conflict. Peace requires us to pursue harmony with reflective vigilance. I am a pacifist. I believe in solutions to disagreements that avoid violence. We are an intelligent species capable of cooperating and solving problems without violence. When I look at humanity in general, most people wish to live in peace. Most of my art focuses on justice issues, and the outcome of justice is a more equal, just and peaceful society. Through my art, I want to remind people of the equal humanity of all people, regardless of their race, religion, nation or culture. There is no us versus them; there is only one us.”

– Shepard Fairey

Finally, the artist’s universal message also finds expression in the section devoted to music. Of this art form Fairey especially admires universality and accessibility. He himself cites musical groups such as the Sex Pistols, Black Flag, Bob Marley and Public Enemy as his main sources of inspiration.

The exhibition is sponsored by the City of Milan in collaboration with Wunderkammern and Gruppo Deodato, co-produced with Fabbrica del Vapore. Organization and curatorship by Wunderkammern. Main Sponsor: BOEM, Sponsor: MTN, Radio Partner: Radio 105, Media Partner: Artuu Magazine, In collaboration with: Rinascente, Technical Sponsor: BIG Broker Insurance Group / CiaccioArte.

Exhibition Information

Artist: Shepard Fairey (OBEY)

Title: OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey

Location: Cathedral – Fabbrica del Vapore, Via Giulio Cesare Procaccini, 4, 20154 Milan, Italy

Dates: May 16-October 27, 2024

Hours: from Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

last entrance one hour before closing

Promoters: Municipality of Milan

Co-production: Fabbrica del Vapore

Organization: Wunderkammern and Deodato Group

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