Artist Shepard Fairey Curates His Favorite YouTube Videos

In a video for MOCA, the “defining museum of contemporary art” in Los Angeles, Shepard Fairey, the graphic designer and illustrator best known for the Obama Hope poster of 2008, spent a few minutes rapping about the YouTube videos that have inspired him, both personally and professionally. He starts with one we’ve featured here before  — Saul Bass’ Pitch for the Redesign of Ma Bell’s Logo. Read all about that fascinating 1969 project here.

Next up comes the 1981 music video for Blondie’s “Rapture” — momentous because it was the first rap video ever aired on MTV and because it features an appearance by graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, who stepped in for Grandmaster Flash when he inexplicably went MIA.

Now let’s roll George Clinton’s video for “Atomic Dog” (1982), an inspiration to Fairey because it layers 1980s-video game imagery on top of prison scenes, creating a “template for what a lot of gangster rappers would embrace later.” Call it the ur-gangsta rap video.

Finally, Shepard refers to videos by The Sex Pistols, the English punk band formed in 1975. But when it comes to selecting a particular clip, he leaves us hanging. So, given that curating YouTube videos is our everyday gig, hope you don’t mind if we lay some “God Save the Queen” on you. Enjoy.

via Boing Boing


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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.