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Mad About Miami: Artist Shepard Fairey is Coming Back for Basel

Shepard Fairey
Click here to read past installments of our occasional Crossfade series, Mad About Miami, in which celebs dish on their favorite local spots. 

Shepard Fairey, the man responsible for iconic imagery such as "Obey Giant" and Obama's "Hope" poster, made quite a splash during last year's Art Basel, especially when he got on the decks at The Red Room. And as the LA imagist tells New Times, this year his presence is sure to splash even larger.

We caught up with one of the art world's busiest operative on the eve of the release of Art for Obama: Designing Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change (Abrams $22.50), a collection of some of the best art work done on behalf of our current president before he became so. The book, which Fairey co-curated with Evolutionary Media Group's Jennifer Gross, follows loosely on the heels of the 20th anniversary deluxe hardcover edition of his own OBEY: Supply & Demand (Gingko Press $59.95), a five-and-a-half pound retrospective that spans the man's entire career to date.

But we're here to hear about the MIA, and this is what Fairey had to say on that subject:

New Times: Wasn't that you spinning at the Shore Club during last year's Art Basel?

Shepard: Yeah, I was there. I deejayed at the Red Room.

Right. That was great. I only stayed for about 15-20 minutes it was so packed. Are you coming back this year?

Yeah, I'll be back. I'm going to be doing some murals and working with Jeffrey Deitch.

Great. Do you know where you're going to have an event this year?

I know he's doing something in the Wynwood District. There's going to

be sort of an outdoor mural project. I'm also going to work with the Primary Flight

guys who did some of the murals last year. So, I'll be involved in a

couple projects, but I'm not 100 percent sure. But, I'm sure as it gets

closer if I'm doing anything I'll post it on my website.

What do you think of Basel by the way?

I think it's a blast. There's always a lot of good art to see. People

from all over the world that I might not run into otherwise. And there

are always a lot of good parties. For me, it's a great all around

experience. It's exhausting and overstimulating, but it's a lot of fun.

I'm not there just to try to make connections and sell art. I'm there

for the overall experience. So, I don't really mind that it's kind of a


Actually, that's probably the most fun about it. Was last year your first Basel or had you been here before?

No, that was my third one. I came in 2006 or 2005.

And so you like Miami, I presume?

Yeah I do. I like Miami.  

Do you have a favorite spot?  

Yeah. I stayed at the Mondrian and it is beautifully designed. I did

some art for the Morgans Hotel Group, so I got the hook up. Nice spot.

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John Hood

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