All words and photos by Dakota
Regime Change Starts At Home is currently on display at the Irvine Contemporary Gallery in Washington DC. This past Saturday, patrons flocked to Irvine for Shepard Fairey and his portrait of Barack Obama, which seems to have captured the public eye like nary a political figure, except for well, Barack Obama. The popular culture phenomenon catalyzed by Fairey seems to have caught hold of even the most random of popular culture icons, see: NKOTB and Duran Duran.
Also on display are the spectacularly dark sculptures of Al Farrow, and the playful prints of Paul Miller.
Shepard Fairey (pictured above) resides in Southern California. I had occasion to speak with him briefly about his portrait of Obama and his unique style. He told me that the idea of making a shirt out of the portrait hadn’t really even crossed his mind until he saw others replicating his image and selling the shirts bootleg. At which point he started printing it himself with all proceeds going back into the project, promoting both his artistry and the candidacy of Barack Obama. When I mentioned to him that I had seen a lot of musicians rock the shirt onstage, New Kids on the Block elicited an eye roll, while he did tell me that John Taylor of Duran Duran is a good friend of his.
The exhibit certainly seems to have captured the eye of DC residents, and is well worth a visit. Not only is the art politically relevant and meaningful, it is displayed in a way that invites the spectator to interact with the works. On Saturday night the show seemed to have something for everyone, all ages, best dressed to grungy rockers… Regime Change, if it’s not already on your to do in Washington this week, make it.
On Saturday night, I must admit, it was soooo packed it was a little distracting, but there is a great mural by Mr. Fairey on the outside wall in the alley behind the gallery, not to miss.