The internationally renowned artist Shepard Fairey, presents at Magda Danysz gallery in Paris his series Superman Is Dead from June 20 to August 1st. The show features original unique paintings, rarely shown in Europe, prints, and photographs of Sex Pistol’s punk rocker, Sid Vicious. Inspired by Dennis Morris’s photos of the iconic bassist, Shepard Fairey creates a whole series as tribute to this contemporary “Superman”.
Born John Simon Ritchie, Vicious' time with the Pistols was as brief as it was chaotic and legendary. Since his death in early 1979 at the age of 21, Sid has been immortalized as a punk rock icon in countless posthumous recordings, films, T-shirts, action figures etc. S.I.D.: Superman Is Dead is possibly the ultimate of these tributes.
Shepard Fairey says “The Sex Pistols changed my life when I discovered them in 1984. Their music alone made my arm hairs stand up, but their image and attitude were just as important and powerful. (…) . At 14 I was mesmerized by Sid and made my first homemade t-shirt of him snarling his lip defiantly. Sid was my Superman. (…) Sid was everything the Superman, anti-hero, or cliché of a nihilistic movement called for. (…) I have made many images of Sid over the years, and I thought I had retired him as a subject until Dennis Morris-the photographer of the most intimate and iconic shots of Sid-approached me about a collaboration.” Dennis Morris’s archive provided an amazing treasure trove of Sid images to work from in creating the paintings and prints in the "Superman Is Dead" show. Shepard Fairey works on these iconic images presenting sometime the intimate face, sometime the dirty and trash one.
With Superman Is Dead, Shepard Fairey creates a really personal series dedicated to one of his idol. As an artist, he exalts Sid Vicious. His colours, using a range of brown, light brown and beige hues, his patterned backgrounds, and the way he translates the portrait into a stylized image are paying a graphic tribute to the rock star. Considered by the Institute of Contemporary Art of Boston as the most influential street artist of our time, Shepard Fairey (also known as Obey) has been acquired by some of the most important museum collections such as Victoria and Albert Museum of London or the MOMA in New York. Magda Danysz gallery is really proud to be once again the first to show this series in Europe.