When I heard that Steven Heller would be promoting his latest book, Iron Fists, with a panel discussion including DJ Spooky and Shepard Fairey, I jumped to RSVP. I'm a huge fan of Shepard's, and was super excited to meet him. The event, held last night at the Phaidon Book Store, was titled "Big Lies, Little Truth", and focused on propaganda art and its relevance through time. Heller took us through a brief overview of his book, which focuses on propaganda art and "Branding the 20th-Century Totalitarian State" with a slideshow of art from Nazi Germany, Facist Italy, Mau's China, and the Soviet Union under Lenin and Stalin.
Next up, Shepard gave a history of his work since he started tagging with his "Obey Giant" motif in 1989. He took us through his more political work, including the iconic Obama "HOPE" poster, and the ad campaign he did for Saks Fifth Avenue, which included Soviet-inspired artwork.
DJ Spooky spoke about his music and his artwork, including his new book- The Book of Ice (due out July 1). He did some phenomenal artwork playing with the idea of a Republic of Antarctica. You can download the mix he handed out during the event for free here. While you're there, check out the Guardian UK's map of musical influences- epic.
When it came time for book signing, I approached Shepard first, with his book and a poster print of his that I wanted signed. He happily signed both for me. His hands were covered in paint, so I asked where he'd been painting. He said he put up a new mural at Stanton and Bowery, so I walked over there after the event. I finally found it, on Rivington and Bowery, and it's gorgeous!
Steven Heller signed a copy of his book for me, also- what a fantastic night!