14 March 2012

The good Shepard

Now I loves me a good lamppost. Not in the biblical sense of the word, nor do I see them through the magical clutter of a Narnia-tinted wardrobe, but they hold a special place in the urban environment as both the physical and mental illuminators of the citizenry. By night they banish away the darkness and allow us to break free of the natural cycle of activity our forebears were enslaved by, and by day they serve as the wikipedia of the city's Outernet, a veritable treasure trove of landing pages that anyone with a fast hand and the occasional stepladder can edit, offering passers-by a mobile education if only they dare to look up.

Many is the artist who has used these poles as their canvas, and as I wander from meeting to meeting normally armed with some form of photographic device I have taken to "collecting" these works, much as a pretend Dragon and failed Presidential candidate collects paper bags of unmarked bills for Fianna Fail, blames Social Meeja and those damn lefty Journos in RTE for coming in second and demands a tax-payer funded Tribunal because as we all know we certainly haven't had enough of them now, have we?

Back in 2009 the city's posts were emblazoned with a series of site-specific poetry and prose, adorning mock US Visa Waiver forms, in 2011 many a happy day was taken up cycling from street to street in search of the many faux-election posters of the UpStart campaign, and this week has seen the latest in a series of artistic treasure hunts courtesy of President Obama's favourite copyright infringer, Shepard Fairey.

Fairey was in Dublin this weekend for Offset 2012, and while it doesn't look like he created a piece while he was over here, either he or an army of helpful minions did find the time to plaster the city centre with a cornucopia of Obey stickers, in a circular route from (presumably) his hotel off Aungier Street across to St Patrick's Cathedral, up to Christchurch and along Dame Street to Temple Bar, then back along George's Street on his way home.

Or vice versa.

The stickers include the original Andre the Giant and Obey faces that he first found fame with, along with a series in his now trademark red and black designs, as well his latest incarnation of the Obama/Hope poster, now emblazoned with an Anonymous/Guy Fawkes mask.

Alan Moore must really love that.

If you just keep your eyes open around town you can hardly miss them, but you would be surprised how many people never even see what is directly in front of their faces. If you don't have the luxury of a casual stroll around town, or if you aren't lucky enough to live in the open air latrine that we pretend is a bustling metropolis and lovingly refer to as Dublin, you can find more photos of the series here.

Seriously folks, just look up as you walk around. You will be amazed by what you see sometimes.

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