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Street Artist Shepard Fairey Painting New Mural on LES

By Lisha Arino | August 20, 2014 3:35pm
 Los Angeles-based artist Shepard Fairey is creating a mural at 161 Bowery.
Shepard Fairey Mural on the Bowery
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LOWER EAST SIDE — The street artist best known for his Obama “Hope” poster is hard at work on a new mural on the Lower East Side.

Los Angeles-based artist Shepard Fairey has been painting one of his largest-ever murals in the city this week on the side of a former lighting shop at 161 Bowery.

The 27-foot-by-37-foot piece will feature a peace dove combined with a phoenix and the message, “We own the future. Shape your world with creative response," Fairey said.

“It’s really about the idea of art and creativity in general being a good way to communicate and [being] a positive way to communicate,” he said Tuesday afternoon while taking a break.

Fairey is also known for the “OBEY” stickers that have been plastered all over the world, as well as his murals, including pieces that appeared on East Houston Street and in DUMBO.

As he waited to go back up in a lift to continue working Tuesday, fans approached him to say hello, swap stickers and take a photo.

“My reason for loving street art was always just putting art where people live instead of making them have to go to a gallery or a museum,” he said.

The mural, which Fairey expected to finish Thursday, is part of the Little Italy Street Art (L.I.S.A.) Project, which began two years ago as a way to draw visitors to Little Italy, curator Wayne Rada said.

Since then, the project has commissioned dozens of pieces on walls, doors and rolling gates and expanded into the surrounding neighborhoods.

“The whole point of the L.I.S.A. Project is to make people smile and to bring some good to the Lower Manhattan area,” Rada said.