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Street Fight: Shepard Fairey and Eastsider Blogger Have Words

Photo by EastsiderLA
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Jesus Sanchez, the blogger behind The Eastsider LA, found that street artist Shepard Fairey put an anti-graffiti coating on the brick walls of his art gallery and ad agency in Echo Park. Fairey explained that "when graff seeped into the raw brick it was very difficult to clean. The building is historic and I love and want to protect the brick." The new anti-graffiti coating will make abatement easier, but will not stop graffiti. This was "after pleading guilty to vandalism charges in Boston over his guerrilla art tactics" Sanchez juxtaposed in the post titled "This is one wall Shepard Fairey wants to keep free of self-expression." It was that tone-setting headline that probably annoyed Fairey, who shot off an e-mail to Sanchez challenging him to post it in full. Sanchez did.

"Your post about the sealer on our building was very obnoxious," Fairey began. "Do you just not give a shit about objectivity? My practice as a street artist has NEVER included putting my work on pristine or operational buildings unless asked to do so. I'm not mad at the graff artists who have hit our building, I just like the brick unadorned. I've always been a champion of street art and graffiti in the same way I'm a champion of free speech. I think it is important for people to be able to speak freely, but if I'm watching a channel whose content is not my cup of tea I may choose to change the channel. It does not make me an opponent of free speech. Preferring my brick unadorned does not make me anti-graffiti. Every time I put a piece of art on the street I know it may be cleaned. That is the nature of the art form."

You can read the full e-mail here.