Contemporary artist Shepard Fairey will bring his curation skills and unique brand of punk-rock pop art to Chicago July 31-Aug. 4 for the biggest street exhibit in the United States. Timed to coincide with Lollapalooza, the exhibit, Art Alliance: The Provocateurs, will feature 40 artists including Keith Haring, Swoon, Ryan McGinness and Camille Rose Garcia at event space Block 37 (108 N. State St.) and on large-scale street murals around downtown Chicago. Need more of a Fairey fix? Catch his DJ set too.
How did you first get involved with Art Alliance?
Lorrie [Boula, my manager] and I were in Austin and we actually had dinner with Charlie Walker from [event production company] C3. We were just talking about how great it would be if there was an art component to one of the bigger festivals. I had also done the art for the past couple of years for the Orion Festival [in Detroit], as I’m friends with some of the Metallica guys.
Which musicians influence your art?
Conceptually, it’s people like The Clash, Public Enemy, Bob Marley, [Bob] Dylan, The Sex Pistols: People who used their music as a way to also speak their mind socially and politically.
Tell us what we can expect from your DJ set on Saturday night [Aug. 2] with Deltron 3030.
The cool thing about DJ-ing at something like Lollapalooza is that I know I can be a bit more eclectic and allow some of my punk rock stuff to bleed through. I’ve done club nights where I’ve had to do all dance stuff or hip-hop. That’s fun too, but I’m going to be able to play everything from The Clash to Grand Master Flash, The White Stripes, M.I.A.