Cincinnati Shepard Fairey mural painted over after objections Shepard Fairey mural painted over after objections

This is over in Covington, KY, 242 W. Pike St., in the middle of the Covington Arts District.

From this:
FaireyCovington.jpegto this:
FaireyCovington2.jpegFrom the article:

Michael A. Claypool, who owns the building and the business, said Thursday about the mural, “We had no clue what they were going to put up. When it went up, we were the first to think it was offensive.”

My reaction:
Know what you’re getting into when you volunteer your building for artwork.  My first reaction was that Shepard Fairey probably should have chosen a more appropriate image if he knew that there was a school nearby.  But, thinking about this more, is the image really offensive?  Isn’t art supposed to provoke some kind of thought or discussion.  Like, why is this Southeast Asian child carrying a gun?  Painting over things won’t make issues in the world go a way.

UPDATE:  Here’s more information about the image, Duality of Humanity 4.

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  • Reply visualingual May 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    You’re right that this image could have been used as a teachable moment, but it takes willing adults to see it in that light and to actually use it as an opportunity for dialogue.
    At the same time, the property owner applied for [actually, competed for, I guess] a Fairey mural, knowing that he wouldn’t know the specific content beforehand. I would hope that he became at least superficially familiar with the themes Fairey uses in his work before submitting an application.
    But also, Fairey’s temporary promotions are not all as incendiary as this one is, even though they all use the visuals that he has used in his work before. All of these interventions reference themes found in the CAC exhibit, but this is the one, right across the street from a school, that uses the image of a child in this way. Fairey himself, it seems, thrives on controversy, and this image, though it has the potential to start a conversation, does not really provide a constructive context for that conversation. The image itself seems confrontational and confrontationally placed. Is that a coincidence or strategy on his part?

  • Reply MT May 21, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Based on the all of the Shepard Fairey outdoor installations I’ve seen in person and on the internet, I think the placement of this particular image was more a coincidence than anything else. But, you’re right, controversy is something Fairey doesn’t shy away from.

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