Andre Psychedelic. Serigraph on Coventry Rag, 100% Cotton Custom Archival Paper with hand-deckled edges. 30 x 41 inches. Signed by Shepard Fairey. Numbered edition of 89. Comes with a certificate of authenticity. $900.
The immediate success and proliferation of the Andre sticker compelled Fairey to develop strategies to expand the reach of his campaign and call attention to the original sticker in public space. However, he did want to alter the design, as a means to diversify the Andre sticker from the original black and white image. He began to print stickers with the same illustration and text but with animal patterns and colorful Op art backgrounds. His desire to create attention-getting color combinations resulted in extensive research into psychedelic posters from the late 1960s. Fairey was particularly drawn to the aggressive color combinations of posters made for the legendary San Francisco music venue, The Filmore. Up until the creation of "Andre Psychedelic," Shepard's dedication to the Andre sticker, and its corresponding success made him wary of incorporating Andre into other works of art. Fairey's love of psychedelic posters in general and his deep admiration for John Van Hamersveld's 1968 image of Jimmy Hendrix allowed him to insert Andre's face, taken from the original sticker, into a psychedelic design. This initial stylistic breakthrough would become a fundamental strategy throughout Fairey's artistic practice. The image would become the first fine art screenprint featuring Fairey's version of the wrestler's face.
The Andre sticker, which Fairey created as a student in 1989, is the cornerstone of his 30-year practice. The artist uses a cropped image of the original sticker to reflect on three decades of evolution in his work and dramatic shifts in society. Fairey's career started with placing stickers in public space, an intentionally ambiguous statement, that over decades transformed into an overtly political, message-driven practice. Fairey inserts colors, rips, and patterns reminiscent of psychedelic imagery onto and around the iconic face. The disorienting design addresses the dramatic shift from analog forms of disseminating information to the current digital bombardment of imagery and information online. Fairey ages the iconic face by covering it with colored lines and tears, signifying years of work put in by the artist to establish himself by placing work in public space, a realm loaded with competing messages and the threat of arrest. The layers and rips are also a bod to the ephemeral nature of street art. For 30 years Fairey has placed his art in the urban landscape, which has been removed by property owners, civil servants, eroded by Mother Nature, and covered by other artists.