So far, the Fairey mural has been defaced three times in less than a week, according to Animal NY (via

Animal New York has been documenting the steady stream of defacement that artist Shepard Fairey’s May Day exhibition mural on Houston Avenue has been subject to. First it was targeted by a graffiti writer, then holes, and now a clever “Target” logo. It’s worth noting that the target form that is being ridiculed refers to artist Jasper Johns’ famous target image from the 1960s but the form has undoubtedly been transformed in the public imagination by the Target department store chain, which nowadays is more commonly associated with the imagery.

Detested by many in the graffiti and street art community as a sell-out, Fairey is certainly going to be a lightning rod for another age-old rivalry, namely the one between graffiti writers and street artists (both types of artists that work in public spaces but often don’t get along).

I have to admit I’m looking forward to what’s next.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.

2 replies on “Targeting Shepard Fairey’s “May Day” Mural”

  1. im interested to see what happens, and I dont think its a graf VS street art thing, people just dont like him. it is after all, street artists like mcphee leading the charges against him.

  2. Shepard fairey works are being dissed because he isnt from the streets, many graffiti writers take offense to this. He is trying to portray his art as a street accepted, when in fact he is not, many graffiti artist go to jail for a year first time being caught. This guy can simply line up walls with his wheat paste art and never get fucked with. That aint graffiti, it aint street and will forever be dissed. When this guy stops using graffiti as his medium the attacks will stop!

    He is taking one of the most pure art forms and sh!>&ing on it

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