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- Posted on Jul 16th 2010 4:00PM by Steve Baltin
"The art around skateboarding and punk rock is what had the biggest impact on me," he says. "Jamie Reid, who was the artist for the Sex Pistols, wasn't a musician, but at the same time recognized the importance of music, as did Malcolm McLaren, who went to art school then did more [of] a fashion thing [with] Vivien Westwood. There's a connection between art, music, fashion, intellectual concept, everything."
Spinner caught up with Fairey on the eve of an art show for Alternative Press magazine's 25th anniversary art show in L.A., and he reflected on how the bands in the magazine shaped him. "I've done some stuff for [AP] in the past," he says. "The Sex Pistols, the Clash, the Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, Bad Brains, through now, bands like Franz Ferdinand, Nirvana, the Flaming Lips, any number of bands they still cover are still bands that I'm digging."
He's worked with a great number of those bands, but there are still a few he'd like to collaborate with. "I consider Public Enemy a punk band, pretty much. I'd love to do something with them," he says. "I'd love to do something with Franz Ferdinand -- they're smart guys with a really sophisticated take on things but also very accessible. I'm friends with the guys in Interpol and I did some posters with them, but I'd love to do more with them."
Fairey did, however, get to fulfill one musical dream. "I just recently got to do something with Iggy Pop, which was awesome," he says. "He was one of the last big ones where I was like, 'If I can make that happen, that would be really incredible.' I did a poster for him for the 'Raw Power' deluxe edition, and did just a regular art portrait of him as well."
As an artist who loves music, Fairey has no problem with musicians who cross over mediums to paint and do other visual arts. In fact, he can name several very talented musicians/artists. "There's a former pro skateboarder named Tommy Guerrero, I really like what he does as a musician and a visual artist," he says. "Tim [Armstrong] from Rancid is a really great visual artist. It's a family thing, but Greg Ginn from Black Flag and his brother Raymond Pettibon, what an awesome connection there for art and music. Joe Strummer liked to paint. Chris Stein, from Blondie, is a great photographer; Iggy [Pop] paints."
For more information on the Alternative Press art show, which is open now in Los Angeles, visit the Merry Karnowsky Gallery's website.