- We Could Have Waited Till Heaven
- Studio Visit: Shepard Fairey
- Avocado, Sushi Rice, Baccalà Cream, Cilantro by Ludo Lefebvre
Photography by Henerico Rossi
Model Manon Leloup at IMG and Julien Pernot at Elite
Stylist Rebecca Muzzioli
Hair Yann Turchi at Bryant Artists
Makeup Camille Siguret at Marie France Thavonekham Agency
Photography Assistant Chanel Irvine
Styling Assistant Ferdinand Paimblanc
Interview by TJ Forman
Images by Alessandro Casagrande
TJ Forman (TJF) – You titled your new exhibition “Facing the Giant – Three Decades of Dissent,” can you believe it’s been that long?
Shepard Fairey (SF) – No, it’s really hard to believe, it makes me… I don’t feel old, but it sounds old. You know, I mean thirty years of anything is a really long time. I keep thinking yeah, you know – I’m just getting my footing, being taken seriously. It’s like, a legit part of this world, and then I realize that when I was 22 and I was looking at someone like Eric Hayes, and thinking they were OG, he was only like 7 or 8 years older than I was. (laughter) He was like maybe 30 at the time. Oh my God, that guy has been killing it in the game forever.
It’s all relative, but what I think is exciting for me is when I do stop and take a breath and look back at my career, which isn’t something I do that often because I’m always just working on the next project… and organically there is a logical evolution, me building on things from the past, so there is always a connection to my past, but it’s not something I’m really focusing on. It’s more, I am focusing on the next thing with the skills I have accumulated, the ideas I have accumulated. But looking back, It’s cool to see that something like the manifesto; which I called “The Social and Psychological Explanation of Andre the Giant Has A Posse,” that I wrote in 1990 (after making stickers for one year) that a lot of the principles I talk about in that hold up 30, 29 years later. And pulling together this body of work for the 30 year show, (which includes 30 images from my career but also new work because I am not settling for the greatest hits tour or anything – I am always making new work), but looking at those images, I’m proud that I think a lot of them stand up, conceptually and visually even though I feel like I have improved, but that here and there along the way, I was on to something; at least with some of the pieces I was making.
TJF – You made the first Andre the Giant sticker 30 years ago, so “Andre The Giant Has A Posse” became Obey, a message that causes us to question our tendency to unwittingly comply with authority and subliminal messaging. And today, like you were just saying, it holds up. But just how important is that message today?
SF – Yeah, the Andre started as a sorta inside joke, but luckily it was quirky and disruptive, even though it was not started with a profound goal, it was impacting people and I paid attention to that, making people ask questions. That is something I really want to build on, so this was before you could Google things and get your answer very quickly. So I liked the idea of disrupting the normal sorta flow of information in public space, it was almost all just public signage and commercial advertising and it wasn’t until I made something that I was putting side by side with all that, that I started to think that how this was mostly a one way conversation from corporate powers that be or the governmental powers that be to everyone else, and it was not very democratic. But you know, loving punk rock and skateboarding, things that were all about subversively reusing all the raw materials the world has to offer… I really like the idea of building on the idea that you are not powerless in the face of all these monolithic forces with deep pockets. So evolving to the Obey campaign from the original Andre was something that was gradual, but I was looking for ways to move away from just an absurd wrestling reference that had become a secret handshake in skateboard and punk rock circles, even though it had nothing to do those cultures, except for the fact that it was passed around within them and then move in to something that was more on the lines of what Robbie Canal was
doing with his posters out here, or Barbara Kruger was doing or what Orwell did as a writer. I had a lot of influences.
But, that concept is still incredibly important to me. I think now in the “create your own reality” with all the fake news, I hate to use the term fake news because it is so “Trumpian“, but I think the fake news is more on the right-wing end of on the spectrum, but there is a need to question everything that you are inundated with- that was originally driving our concept, but I think it is even more necessary now, because so many media outlets are not really well vetted.
TJF – In previous interviews, you’ve said that at the time the Andre image underwent its transition, that you did not have a “brand” so this was pre-Obey Clothing, right?
SF – Yeah, I was making t-shirts, but I didn’t have the business I have now.
TJF – To discuss this topic and maybe we can put the issue to rest. Some in the art establishment who have critiqued you, have said that because this campaign was created to promote your clothing line (a commercial pursuit), it could not be art. If the campaign started well before the clothing line was even an idea in your head, is that point even valid? Do you even care?
SF – Well, the art establishment has its own agenda and that’s usually to rarify, restrict the supply to increase the demand and then benefit by being the gatekeeper in that whole process. That is not anything I am interested in. Of course, I went to art school, I studied non-traditional and traditional art for my whole life, basically. I care a small amount about what the art establishment has to say, but my goal is to reach as many people as possible. When I started my campaign in the street, that was one way to bypass all the gatekeepers, elitist institutions, and galleries, and just take art to people where they live their lives. Another way of doing that was (by) putting art on t-shirts and hats, un-intimidating canvases that the average person adorns themselves with. Doing album packages was another part of that approach. Some of it was also driven by the need to survive as an artist. I had to find ways to make money. But I look at someone like Keith Herring, who could paint murals, do illegal work in the subway, do things with galleries, do things for social causes, like anti-nuclear proliferation or AIDS awareness, and I think Keith Herring is a very legitimate artist and if I am inspired by that model, I don’t see why I am any less legitimate. But that is all someone else’s opinion that I may or may not consider valid. I try to be smart about what I am doing so that my true intentions are what’s perceived, but I can’t control everyone’s perceptions.
TJF – So, just to not address those comments is what you have done most of the time.
SF – Spending time arguing with people about what is or what isn’t valid art, I don’t think that is my role as an artist. I think that is maybe critics and academia. Maybe you can make headway with those people by running in the right circles and playing the game well, but more often it is just creating a model that makes an impact culturally and that can happen where the art establishment champions something and it ripples out or I have already teamed up with the Barbarians, gone over the wall and they’re like “fuck it, too late”.
This past June the Guide Michelin returned to Los Angeles for the first time in nearly a decade. Among the awarded establishments stands Trois Mec – a 28-seats, reservation only, multi-course tasting menu restaurant on Melrose and Highland – granting Chef Ludo Lefebvre his first Michelin Star.
After classically training in France for twelve years at the hands of some of the greatest names of French cuisine – Alain Passard, Marc Meaneau, Pierre Gagnaire, and Guy Martin – Ludo established in Los Angeles in 1996 and made a name for himself, becoming one of the most influential chefs in the country. Though his roots lie in classical cuisine, Ludo is a trailblazer, constantly rethinking new, exciting ways for the culinary world to evolve. Ludo is responsible for bringing fried chicken to the streets of Los Angeles with his LudoTruck, and for LudoBites, a multi-city pop-up dinner tour concept. Ludo is also the mind behind Trois Familia – now El Vy, under Chef Javier Ramos – where French and Mexican cuisines happily collide. In his fine-dining brick and mortar locations, Trois Mec and Petit Trois, Ludo creates experiences where French refinement and techniques meet Californian flavors, in relaxed and welcoming environments – a love testament to both of his worlds. After all, Ludo is America’s French Chef.
Introduction by Anna Giulia Caradeuc
Portrait by Thomas J. Story
Food Photography by Capra Photography
Avocado for Sushi Rice
Carefully peel outer skin of the avocado with a pairing knife. With a vegetable peeler peel avocado into thin slices, turning as you go to maintain same size and shape. Lay three slices of avocado on parchment paper with EVO on both sides. This is to prevent oxidation.
Lime Juice (100g)
Combine honey and lime juice. Mix with a hand blender while slowly adding EVOO until emulsified. Season with salt to taste.
Salt Cod Cream
Salt Cod (900g)
Soak salt cod in water over night. Remove salt cod from water and add to pot with all of the ingredients. Bring to simmer and cook for about 2 hours or until cod is very soft. Strain and separate cod from liquid, save liquid. Remove the meat of the cod and add back to liquid (discarding garlic, thyme, etc.). Blend cod and liquid. Let sit for 20 mins. Strain and let cool. Add appropriate amount to isis. Charge with one NO2 charger. Shake charged isi and let sit for 5 mins.
3 cups high-quality sushi rice
3 ¼ cups water
1/3 cups rice wine vinegar
2 tbls Sugar
1 tsp Salt
Combine all ingredients for Sushi Rice Vinegar, bring to boil until sugar and salt dissolve. Let cool and set aside. Put rice in bowl with just enough water to cover rice. Gently whisk rice with fingertips until water becomes cloudy. Strain water and repeat until water is clear. Add rice to pot, add 3 1/4 cups water. Let rice soak for 30 mins. Cover pot with lid, bring to boil over high heat. Once water starts to boil turn burner to very low and continue cooking for 15 mins. After 15 mins remove from heat and let sit, covered, for 10 more mins. Remove rice from pot and place in wooden bowl or cutting board. Slowly add Sushi Rice Vinegar to rice while gently moving rice around until rice has a shinny gloss. More vinegar might be needed. Cover in wood bowl or pot and store
in warm part of the kitchen.
Plating for One Serving
Using the ISI, squirt the salt cod cream on center of plate.(20g) Place the warm sushi rice on top of the salt cod cream (50g). Remove one of the sheets of parchment from the avocado. Place upside-down on top of the sushi rice. Carefully remove second sheet of parchment. Evenly distribute lime vinaigrette over the avocado. Add a pinch of fleur de sel, squeeze of lime juice, pinch of almonds and orange and lemon zest. Garnish with slice of jalapeño and two sprigs of cilantro.