How do you like your hope and change, Shep?
(The Atlantic Wire) — Shepard Fairey’s latest work has not been well received in Denmark.
Last weekend, a group of angry thugs called Fairey “Obama illuminati” and then proceeded to beat up him and a friend after the opening of his exhibition in Copenhagen, leaving the world famous graffiti artist with a black eye and a bruised rib.
Fairey refused to report the assault to the police — “The only thing I could see coming out of it was further media commentary like ‘street artist whiner Shepard Fairey can’t hold it down in a fight so he snitches to the cops,” Fairey said — so the incident wasn’t reported until Friday when The Guardian got the scoop.
On the surface, it seems like Fairey got caught in the middle of a local controversy between leftwingers and the city government.
But given the fact that the artist struggled to make amends with both sides, the attack seems to have been borne of Danish leftist radical distaste of both Obama and hipsters.
If you were to draw a Venn diagram, Fairey would fit neatly in the middle. The Guardian explains:The LA-based artist believes the attack was sparked by a misunderstanding over his mural commemorating the demolition of the legendary “Ungdomshuset” (youth house) at Jagtvej 69.
The building, a long-term base for Copenhagen’s leftwing community, was controversially demolished in 2007.
In the intervening years it has become a potent symbol of the standoff between the establishment in Copenhagen and its radical fringe. . . .
Within a day of completion, the mural was vandalized by protesters, with graffiti sending messages of ‘no peace’ and ‘go home, Yankee hipster’.
Fairey subsequently collaborated with former members of the 69 youth house to redecorate the lower half of the installation.
His new version contains images of riot police and explosions, together with a new, more combative slogan: “Nothing forgotten, nothing forgiven”.
In the eyes of the leftwing community, the local city council made Fairey their pawn in order to send an insult to the activists whose base they destroyed four years ago.
The local Danish press reports that the council paid Fairey nearly $50,000 for the mural, the first of four planned around Copenhagen, but Fairey denies that his commission came from the city.
Fairey had full creative freedom for the works, according to Henrik Chulu with the art blog Frikultur who says the murals are “part of a strategy to brand Copenhagen as progressive and ‘cool’.”
How dare they criticize the anointed messiah, Barack Obama!
(Huffington Post) — Steve Harvey has decided to throw himself into the ring as a critic of the Poverty Tour of Tavis Smiley and Cornel West. This week on his syndicated radio show, Harvey went in on West and Smiley in ways that turned heads.
“I was a huge fan of Cornel West,” he said. “Tavis, I seen him coming a mile away. His anger started when he had a town hall meeting, President Obama couldn’t come because of the campaign trail and he sent Mrs. Obama. He has held that grudge every since.”
Harvey cited the fact that Cornel West has mentioned not getting tickets to the president’s inauguration. “Have you ever been invited to the damn inauguration? Did Bush send for you? Did Clinton send for you? Did Reagan send for you?”
He also said, “You don’t have any real basis behind your dislike for this man. . . you keep masking it saying it’s not about hate. Then what is it about? Poverty existed before January 20, 2008. Where was your damn bus then?”
Harvey also had a lot to say about the fact that Tavis suggested that President Obama sit down with him and West for two or three days to discuss poverty in America. Harvey said, “Who in the hell got 2–3 days for your ass? I ain’t got time to sit down with your monkey behind for two, three days, let alone the President of the United States. We got three wars going on, the economy crashing and we going to sit down with Tavis ass for three days?”Harvey alluded to a more sinister motive for West and Smiley’s Poverty Tour, asking, “Where are you getting the money for these buses?” He ended his rant by saying that he’d spotted an Uncle Tom driving a bus and that Cornel West and Tavis Smiley were “poverty pimps.” I think we all know where this is heading.