Poster artist pastes his wares in Philly

    One of America’s most reknowned street artists was in Philadelphia Friday. Shepard Fairey gained notoriety for the “Hope” poster he made for the Obama campaign.

    One of America’s most reknowned street artists was in Philadelphia Friday. Shepard Fairey gained notoriety for the “Hope” poster he made for the Obama campaign.

    Shepard Fairey’s work is sought after by magazines and art galleries, but this is how he started: Wheatpasting posters onto buildings.

    He came to Philadelphia to slap up collages of posters on three sites, including this one in the Fishtown section of the city, where a crowd of about two dozens gathered from pure word-of-mouth. Shepard says when he started putting art in public he wasn’t seeking recognition, especially from the law.

    “Formerly the crowds were 3 to 5 cop cars,” Fairy said. “Waste of city resources, I’m not that hard to hold down. One cop would be fine. I use the opportunity to interact with people and inspire what they belive in passionately and make things happen.”

    The 40-year-old artist from Los Angeles is an idol to people half his age. A T-shirt silkscreener named Andrew Papoutis gave Fairey a shirt he made especially for him.

    “He’s a legend,” Fairey said. “Now, living. This is a whole new movement, in the past 10 years. It’s good to see street artists getting recognized.”

    In addition to Fishtown, Shepard Fairey pasted his work at Frankford Avenue near Norris, and on Girard near 26th Street.

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