The Patriot Act may have inspired concern about American society becoming an Orwellian nightmare, but Big Brother already lives -- and he looks just like the late pro wrestler Andre the Giant. Leading the conspiracy, or rather, the art movement, is Shepard Fairey, whose subversive fame started with his ubiquitous "Andre the Giant Has a Posse" stickers. Fairey started making the low-budget decals in 1989, while still in art school. Within a few years, they were plastered on skateboards, store windows and street signs across the country.
By the mid-'90s, Fairey streamlined Andre's image into a poster "campaign" called Obey. These prints are featured in Perihelion Gallery's latest exhibition, "The Art of Shepard Fairey," opening Friday, September 5.
Amy Young, gallery co-owner, says she loves Shepard's propaganda-style imagery. "I have a huge affinity for semiotics and signs and things that pepper our landscape and transcend barriers, whether they're regional borders or cultural ones. And that's what the Obey movement has done."
For details call 602-462-9120. - Michele Laudig
Brazilian Independence Day is celebrated
You can't spell "Rio" without "O" and, this Saturday, September 6, Scottsdale's O Restaurant & Lounge celebrates Brazilian Independence Day with Carnival-esque music, cocktails and dancers. Admission is $10; proceeds benefit Casa Brazil, an organization aiding underprivileged children. Call 480-946-4466. - Jill Koch
Grand Avenue gets artsy
A streetwise new installation at downtown's Stop N' Look gallery examines the lay of the Grand. With an assortment of photos, postcards, maps and memorabilia, "The Lone Diagonal in a Grid Town: What's Grand About Grand Avenue" explores how the street and its businesses and communities affected the Valley's development. From Friday, September 5, through November 7, Douglas Towne's window installation is viewable 24/7 at the storefront gallery, 1025 Grand Avenue (three blocks north of Van Buren). Call 602-256-2859 for more information. - Jill Koch
Notes From the Underground
Downtown gets a little mod
Until recently, downtown was the last place you'd expect to find a fashion-forward scene on a Friday night. But that's all changed since the recent launch of Hot Pink, a weekly bash devoted to electro-clash, indie rock, glam, disco-punk and more at Boom, whose mod interior was created by the design team at haus. DJ Nimh spins everything from Joy Division and Tones on Tail to Rick James and The Rapture every Friday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. (the night's 21 and over until 1 a.m., 18 and over until 3 a.m.) at 1724 East McDowell. Through mid-September, there's no cover charge. Lost & Found Vintage hosts the event; call 602-266-1405 for details. - Michele Laudig