Rockin' Event Review: The Provocateurs

When I heard about The Provocateurs show I knew I had to make a trek to the windy city to check it out. The show was up for five days at Block 37 in Chicago July 31-August 4, 2014. The show was organized by Shepard Fairey and had work by notable artists such as Camille Rose Garcia, FAILE, Space Invader, and Keith Haring just to name a few. I have a love hate relationship with Shepard Fairey's work. I love that he is an artist that has brought design so mainstream, but I hate that 'his style' is copying Soviet propaganda art with iconic imagery and predictable themes. I find his work visually pleasing but the concepts are not new or original.

The show as a collection of work was unlike any show I have ever seen. I was blown away by the amazing artist and work Fairey pulled together. Most of the artist on display started their careers as street artists and most of the work contained commentary on political issues.

The show was on display the same weekend as Lollapalooza and was presented as something extra to draw the fans. After spending the weekend in Chicago it was quite apparent who was there for Lollapalooza by age range and fashion. They did not seem to be the same crowd that visited the exhibit. I am not sure how they were able to tell if there was a correlation in attendance from the festival.

Here are a few of my favorite works from the show.

This gun was made completely from typewriter parts.

 Work by D*FACE.

Painting by Camille Rose Garcia.

Collage woodworking peice by FAILE.

Jen Stark's 'Cosmographic' made from layers of paper.

Winston Smith's 'Kill It!'collage piece.

And here are the limited edition posters created for the event by some of the artists featured.

The show was amazing and I am so glad I went to see it. No other artist could have pulled this caliber of artists together. The work was world class and did not disappoint! Sheppard Fairey however did disappoint. I asked for an autograph (after seeing a whole group get autographs) and was turned down. In my 15 years of collecting autographs only one other person has turned me down. The lead singer of Alien Ant Farm. A band best known for covering a song originally by Micheal Jackson. I guess copying someone else's great ideas mean you are above signing an autograph for those who pay to see you. On the plus side, Steven Tyler's autograph is in my collection and he gladly gave it to me.