Over-the-Rhine in Downtown Cincinnati, OH, has a long, rich, and often muddy history, a past of immigration, of social change and social distortion, of rises and falls and culture clashes and cultural reconciliation.
It’s here amid the brick and mortar that Cincinnati’s personality, a pasticcio of young and vintage, of Old World and New, of music and art and passion and violence and destitution and wealth, and of black and white and everything in between, really begins to shine.
Soon after the opening of the Shepard Fairey exhibit at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, two of his murals, graffiti around the city, were painted over. One by the owner of the building, one by “unknowns.” Some blamed the violent images, others suggested that it was the Arab themes that offended people…
Perhaps this was the reaction he was looking for?
A friend told me a story of a student in her class who is obsessed with the artist. Wants to dress like him and talk like him and espouses everything Fairey says as counter-culture gospel.
Oh, the irony, is all I can think as I sit and stare at the Obey Giant as he watches over his minions in Over-the-Rhine.
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