American photojournalist Aaron Huey has collaborated with Shepard Fairey in his effort to raise awareness of the Lakota's issues on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The two artists have been mounting a mural on the Barracuda wall on Melrose in Los Angeles, coincidentally on this Thanksgiving weekend.
The words "The Black Hills Are Not For Sale" appear on the wall along with Huey's black and white photographs and some classic Fairey designs in red and off-white. The Black Hills are sacred to the Lakota Indians and Huey's message is primarily a comment on the poverty they endure here in the United States. To find out more follow this link to the TED Talk titled "America's Native Prisoners of War". http://www.ted.com/talks/aaron_huey.html
Here is some footage from earlier today and some close-up shots of the almost completed mural.
The images on the mural are Huey's photographs taken from his travels.
Shepard Fairey's Mural Unveiled on La Brea
Is it the danger that makes street art appealing? Aren't we impressed by the eagerness of some of these artists to scale up the sides of buildings and break the law to share their work with us, knowing it will be taken down in a matter of days?
I'm on the fence. And I don't mean that I'm like, hopping a fence as I narrowly escape getting nabbed by the cops at 3am for defacing public property with my spray can and decals. I mean, I can't decide which side of the proverbial fence I'm on.
With illegal street art, we try to take something away from the work, you know, because it might not be there this time tomorrow on the drive home once the store owner paints over it. We pay extra special attention, knowing that the work is temporary, that this might be our last chance to see it. Does the idea that it wont be there forever urge you to cherish it or to ignore it?
The problem with adoring it because it is dangerous is that promotes whatever is fleeting instead of what is actually worthwhile. If we pant over the latest trends because we get carried away by the hype, then we are doing just that, getting carried away. On the opposite end of the spectrum, if we only like underground culture and turn our noses up to anything mainstream, (we are much cooler and hipper) but again we are not being true to our taste. No use in fawning over something that will bore you next week, it's just a waste of time and energy. Let's be authentic about what we like.
So if you are a fan of Shepard Fairey, then you're in luck! His mural on La Brea between 1st and 2nd was just unveiled to the public on Friday, and it looks like it could be a part of your LA commute for years to come.