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Street artist unveils first Middle East mural

DUBAI (Arabnews): US contemporary street artist Shepard Fairey, who shot to fame for his iconic ‘Hope’ poster of Barak Obama in 2008, unveiled two new murals in the UAE’s Dubai Design District (D3) that pay homage to the city’s vision for cross-cultural communication and cooperation on Monday.

This will be Fairey’s first showcase in the Middle East and it consists of two walls facing each other. 

The first mural, “Rise Above Peace Fingers,” features an intricately patterned peace sign, layered with another image of a fist holding a flower.

Both artworks have been created using bright tones of red, blue and yellow juxtaposed with black and white in Shepard’s signature style.

The artist is also presenting an exhibition, “Future Mosaic” that opened on Monday at Dubai’s Opera Gallery.

According to a released statement, Fairey said: “Dubai and the US have more in common than many people realize. As well as promoting vibrant creative industries, they both promote justice, peace and tolerance.”

I was so excited to explore these important values and am grateful that Opera Gallery Dubai and D3 gave me the opportunity to create a piece of work that reflects and honors our similarities rather than polarizing our differences. I cannot think of a more suitable place for my first regional mural than right here in D3,” he added.

He explained his designs and said: “The first is a symbol of strength and empowerment, the paintbrush is for art and the flower as something positive, growing and blooming.”

From stickers and street art to skateboards and presidential portraiture, Fairey’s work has progressed from the images you might find on a skateboard deck to work that now adorns the walls of the prestigious Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.