Shepard Fairey Says NYC Artists Are Screwed and Should Move to LA

Shepard Fairey Photo: Patrick McMullan

Decrying the state of New York City’s arts and culture scene is apparently a cool thing to do these days. Chloe Sevigny recently lamented the “jock-filled” vibe of her longtime stomping ground in the East Village, David Byrne infamously complained that the Big Apple stifles creativity—echoing a similar statement made by Patti Smith—and now renowned street artist Shepard Fairey has informed Page Six that “artists are screwed in New York right now.”

The solution? Move to Los Angeles, of course.

“You can’t be in New York and not have ­either a trust fund or a good enough job to live,” the artist, who is best known for using an Associated Press photo without permission to create Barack Obama’s 2008 “HOPE” poster, explained. “New York is incredibly successful, and one of the things that’s suffering is space for people to be struggling to make something that ­nobody’s seen before…where they have no money and it’s not commercially viable yet, but it’s going to be the next thing. That’s happening in LA…LA still has affordable spaces for artists to have studios.”

While there’s no denying that the art scene in LA is booming and has a financial appeal for creative types, it’s difficult to picture a mass exodus to the West Coast. After all, if all the young, broke artists move there, won’t it eventually become over-saturated and filled with posers in the same way New York allegedly is? And hey, there’s still room left in Ridgewood.



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