Those Shepard Fairey-Designed MCA Billboards? Here's How They Came to Be
See also: Adam Yauch, RIP: A Life in Photos
Art: Shepard Fairey Photo: Glen E. Friedman Billboards at Sunset and Las Palmas, also at Fairfax south of Santa Monica
Shortly after the death of Beastie Boy MCA in early May, a billboard appeared on an industrial stretch of Venice; designed by Brooklyn artist Kaves, it was mostly black and white with a Beastie Boys photo and lyric. (It has since moved to Sunset.) This week another MCA billboard popped up on Fairfax, and then another on Sunset. Designed by Shepard Fairey, the latter two are black and red and feature an iconic Glen E Friedman photo.
Pretty sweet, but what's the deal?
After the death of MCA (who was born Adam Yauch), a local fan named Jason May was heartbroken. He wrote email tributes and reminisced with a friend about seeing the Beastie Boys at the Cal Expo Amphitheater in 1986, but it wasn't enough.
Having recently purchased a Kaves painting at an Exhibit A Gallery show earlier this year, he was inspired to contact the artist, who agreed to come on board for a tribute. After negotiating with CBS outdoor for some remnant space, May rented the billboards, and Fairey was brought on board. Both artists wanted to use Glen E. Friedman images, and the famed photographer was glad to be a part of the project.
"These are three great artists who were fast, willing and got what it was about with not a lot of questions asked," says May. "The billboards just came together, just happened. I took my own money and just did it."