Artist Shepard Fairey Leaves Louisville With A Significant Pop Culture Replica

May 1, 2023 at 6:14 pm
Photo provided by High Horse Bar Facebook Page
Photo provided by High Horse Bar Facebook Page

Shepard Fairey recently visited Louisville to paint a seven-story mural of legendary boxer and activist Muhammad Ali. The mural is now complete and can be seen and selfied on the east side of the Chestnut Street YMCA (930 W Chestnut St) in the Russell neighborhood.

To the surprise of many, Fairey also left another work in the city. Along the wall of High Horse Bar that faces Story Avenue, he added a wheatpaste mural with a likeness of his famous “OBEY” sticker — a signature piece from his early career.

During his visit, Fairey met with several local artists, hosted a public workshop with Louisville Visual Art, and participated in the group exhibition “Outside Influence,” an event organized by guerillaone and Artists for Trauma. The pieces will be on display at PORTAL at Fifteentwelve Creative Compound (1512 Portland Avenue) through May 7.

Fairey is best known for his early work “Obey Giant,” and other politically motivated work, including the iconic "Hope" poster for Barack Obama's presidential campaign and his “We The People” series created to protest then-President-elect Donald Trump in 2017. The images depicted portraits of Native Americans, African American, Muslim, and Latina women.