January 7 - January 28
New work by Shepard Fairey and Mike Giant
Opening Reception Friday January 7th 2005
4:00pm - 11:00pm
Music by - Willow (MHE, sound in color)

Click on the thumbnails to view exhibition and opening night photos.


Artist Shepard Fairey has long been haunting consumer culture with an ambitious mocking street campaign featuring an omnipresent Andre the Giant. An astute student in the arts of persuasion, Fairey began his epic satire on the science of celebrity endorsements and the alchemy of suggesting desire back in 1989, while he was still a student at The Rhode Island School of Design. Since then his propaganda has been proliferated through stickers, clothing, skateboards, posters, stencil based graffiti and even a documentary film, to spread over the United States and the unsuspecting world at large. Currently based in Los Angeles, where his design firm Number One is landing high-level corporate accounts from companies eager to see how his commercial parodies can help sell their products, Fairey’s rising success has helped transform his once homemade Xerox style into lush multi-colored screen prints. There’s no telling what these images are selling, but whatever it is, it’s all so seductive that it’s hard to resist.

As an aesthetic consideration of the form and content of art itself, the case of Shepard Fairey presents a modest, almost trivial joke that has totally run amok, and as it gets ever grander in scope, it just will not play itself out. Rather, Shepard Fairey’s flippant prank continues to accrue greater intensity, complexity, ambition and sophistication. His ongoing “Giant” project has reached 14 years of unrelenting manic and remains as much of an utter provocation as ever, but by now the joke is dead serious and right on in it’s deconstruction of society and it’s signs, and by some totally perverse twist of fate, it has come to represent a validated consensus construct of truth. It’s still nonsense, yet real nonetheless.

Obey Giant is an enigma that demands explanation. It is primarily street art, and as such it is more than revenant to consider the context of the graffiti movement that stands before it. That is, every time an Obey Giant sticker is put up anywhere 1it is an act of vandalism. An ad that sells nothing and is not paid for is not just a crime against property and place; it is a dangerous and detrimental subversion of our most revered, prolific and universal language: the semiotics of commerce.

Fairey contends, “The knee-jerk reactions to ‘stop racism’ or ‘question authority’ effect a predetermined response.” By instead issuing a far more ambiguous statement, Fairey makes us actually question what lies behind it rather than simply write the whole sentiment off as another once intriguing but now overused concept to which we are desensitized.
-Carlo McCormick
(Senior Editor of Paper Magazine and frequent contributor to Art Forum and Juxtapoz)

Select Solo Exhibitions:
CBGB 313 Gallery -- New York, NY -- September 1998
Chamber of Pop Culture -- London, UK -- November 1999
Dept Gallery -- Tokyo, Japan -- May 1999
Alife Gallery -- New York, NY -- November 2000
Dirt Gallery -- Kansas City, MO -- May 1998
Aro Space Gallery -- Seattle, WA -- February 1999
Larboratoriette Gallery -- Stockholm, Sweden -- January 1999
Capsule -- Birmingham, UK -- August 2000
Lump Gallery -- Raleigh, NC -- February 1999
Salon bob Gallery -- New York, NY -- February 1998
6 Space Gallery -- Chicago, IL -- April 1999
H. Lewis Gallery -- Baltimore, MA -- June 1999
Tin Man Alley Gallery -- Philadelphia, PA -- August 2001
Anno Domini Gallery -- San Jose, CA -- October 2000
Hallsey Gallery -- Collage of Charleston -- October 2001
The Emporium Gallery -- Encinitas, CA -- March 2002
1300 Gallery -- Cleveland, OH -- August 2002
Boston Museum -- Boston, MA -- September 2002
Dept/Fumiya Gallery -- Tokyo, Japan -- October 2002
La Base -- Paris, France -- February 2003
Perhelion Arts -- Phoenix, AZ -- August 2003
SIXSPACE -- Los Angeles, CA -- September 2003
CPOP -- Detroit, MI -- November 2003
Think Tank -- Colorado -- November 2003
Kantor Gallery Window -- New York, NY -- December 2003
RED FIVE -- San Francisco, CA -- November 2003

The New Museum of Design -- New York, NY
San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art -- San Diego, CA
Museum of Modern Art -- San Diego, CA
Victoria & Albert Museum -- London, UK
Holly Solomon Gallery -- New York, NY



Having drawn since childhood, it wasn’t until his early twenties that Mike Giant began to pursue art as a career. It was the end of his fourth year studying architecture in his hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico when he was offered a position drawing graphics for Think Skateboards. He accepted the job and moved north to San Francisco, the city where he would spend the next ten years and cements his place in the world of fine art. In San Francisco he found the ideal venue for his unique style of artistic expression-graffiti, zines, graphic design, and ultimately tattoos. In 2001, Giant’s artwork transcended its original home on the streets and he had his first solo exhibition at WDWA Gallery in New York City. He has had shown his drawings in Tokyo, Japan alongside Sam Flores and Bigfoot, at Misanthropy Gallery in Vancouver, BC as well as at countless venues in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Through it is his graffiti art for which he remains most widely recognizable, his tattoo work has become internationally renowned in the relatively short number of years in which he has been tattooing. First working in 1998, Giant has since been employed by exceptional shops in San Jose, San Francisco and New York City, working alongside heavyweights such as Paco Excel, Mike Davis and Partick Conian, His recent Work can Be seen in the 2004 tattoo issued of Juxtapoz magazine. In 2003, after a brief stay in rural France, Giant returned to Albuquerque where he will revisit his old university and study art formally for the first time. He has opened a tattoo shop, Stay Gold, in Albuquerque where he continues to tattoo. His drawings can be found on apparel available from Tribal Gear, Upper Playground, and Rebel B clothing, as well as skullzpress,com. Giant uses the venue of theSkullz Press publications to create artwork that expresses his individual interests, apart form the content and structure that is dictated by the limitations of tattooing or drawing for graphics.

Works Gallery -- San Jose, CA -- January 2002
WDWA Gallery -- Brooklyn, NY -- February 2002
DEPT -- Osaka, Japan -- April 2002
BEAMS Ts -- Tokyo, Japan -- July 2002
Fifty24SF Gallery -- San Francisco, CA -- July 2002
Outdoor Site -- Baltimore, MD -- July 2002
Revoluciones Gallery -- Denver, CO -- August 2002
The Abby -- San Diego, CA -- November 2002
Red Five -- San Francisco, CA -- December 2002
55 DSL -- New York, NY -- February 2003
“Career Day” group show -- Washington D.C. -- March 2003
Gallery Bink -- Portland, OR -- July 2003
Heaven Gallery -- Chicago, IL -- July 2003
Needles and Pens -- San Francisco, CA -- January 2004
Misanthropy Gallery -- Vancouver, BC -- March 2004
111 Minna Gallery -- San Francisco, CA -- April 2004
The Canvas Gallery -- San Francisco, CA -- April 2004
Fifty24 Gallery -- San Francisco, CA -- May 2004
Broken Projects -- Los Angeles, CA -- July 2004

Read a Voice 1156 Q&A with Mike Giant.


Giant vs. Giant is made possible through the patronage of the following sponsors:

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