Live Now on Artnet Auctions: How Shepard Fairey Makes Art Into Activism

Learn why this sale of Fairey's work is a great collecting opportunity for anyone interested in the celebrated street artist.

Shepard Fairey, Universal Personhood, 2013. Available now in Shepard Fairey: Art as Activism on Artnet Auctions. Est. $3,000–5,000.

From the outset of his career, Shepard Fairey recognized that art could be used as a powerful tool for persuasion. Adapting stylistic techniques often found in advertising, the artist is known for untangling complex ideas in an approachable way and often addresses controversial social and political topics through his work. Now live for bidding on Artnet Auctions, our Shepard Fairey: Art as Activism sale includes two works from his iconic “Universal Personhood” series that exemplify Fairey’s artistic practice and his philosophy. 

For over 30 years, Fairey has created works that help viewers recognize the importance of the individual in making democracy function. Inspired by skateboard culture, graffiti, and graphic design, the artist has created an iconic visual language through which he executes his political activism. The inherently political nature of street art is foregrounded in his practice as a subversive activity aimed at questioning mechanisms of control. Works in his “Universal Personhood” series were created in direct response to xenophobic attacks in the United States and abroad, and showcase the common humanity between all people. 

Fairey’s global auction sales volume has risen steadily in recent years, showing a growing demand for his work on the secondary market.

Since 2015, Fairey’s global auction sales volume has nearly quadrupled, signifying a healthy demand for his work. As his popularity has grown, his work has become harder to find on the primary market, making our sale a perfect opportunity to acquire Fairey’s work at a reasonable price. 

Although Fairey identifies as an artist first and an activist second, his work is a celebration of the figures he is inspired by and the causes he supports. His artwork channels the powerful dynamics in which an image can become a cultural symbol. Now through April 22, don’t miss your chance to bid on Universal Personhood and other works that reflect the ongoing efficacy of Fairey’s activism.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the specialist for these lots, Lauren Whitton, with any questions. 

Specialist, Prints & Multiples

+(212) 497-9700 ext. 125

[email protected]


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