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.