Synonymous with his mascot Andre the Giant — a guerrilla art campaign which has become ubiquitous since its inception in 1989 — Shepard Fairy is a name often mentioned in the crossing of streetwear and street art. Having championed both categories with his unique approach which mixes music, politics and freedom of expression in a melange of graphic-heavy work, each output is as thought-provoking at the last and follows the simple mantra of “Question Everything.” His wheat pasting artwork has appeared across all corners of the globe, while his political renderings — most renown for his support for Barack Obama in 2008 — continues to play an efficacious role in mediating diplomatic messages to the common folk. Although the LA-based artist draws inspiration from far and wide, there’s no denying a core influence to stem from his passion for music, especially that of boom bap hip-hop, ska and heavy metal. Here, we learn about Shepard’s favorite band tees and his thoughts on those who have piggybacked on the 2016 merch hype, especially Canadian crooner Justin Bieber and rapper-designer Kanye West.
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