Like Paradise

I searched to find out the story behind the artwork that adorns all four outer walls of this building.

I searched for the story behind the artwork adorning the outer walls of the old Asbury Lanes building on the Asbury Park boardwalk. Here's what I learned.

American pop artist Shepard Fairey is known for his guerrilla “Obey” sticker campaign, which melded contemporary street art and guerrilla marketing into a phenomenon that put him on the artistic map. Shepard is also an activist and founder of OBEY Clothing. I also learned that Fairey designed the Barack Obama "Hope" poster for the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

Sunday 24 April 2022 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 · ISO 100

According to Wikipedia.

His "Obey" Campaign is from the John Carpenter movie They Live which starred pro wrestler, Roddy Piper, taking a number of its slogans, including the "Obey" slogan, as well as the "This Is Your God" slogan. Fairey has spun off the OBEY clothing line from the original sticker campaign.

Obey · Sunday 24 April 2022 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 · ISO 100

Fairey’s art, some of which are from album covers, is on display outside the old Asbury Lanes building on the Asbury Park boardwalk. The art installation was part of the music and art festival organised by All Tomorrow’s Parties. The festival collaborated with the Jonathan LeVine Gallery, which commissioned Fairey to create these murals. In September 2011, he unveiled several murals and a gallery show called “Revolutions”.

All Tomorrow's Parties is a London-based organisation that has promoted festivals in the U.K., the United States and Australia since 1999. All Tomorrow's Parties is also the name of a song by the Velvet Underground and Nico, written by Lou Reed and released on the group's 1967 debut studio album, The Velvet Underground & Nico. I don’t know if there is a connection.

Sunday 24 April 2022 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 · ISO 100

On the day I exposed these frames of Kodak Pro Image 100, the long side of the building facing the ocean was boarded up. I’m unsure why, but I suspect it protected the art. I remembered that I had photographed some of the artwork on my first and later visits to the Asbury Park Boardwalk. As it turns out, my first visit to Asbury Park was in November 2011, a few weeks after the Revolutions festival.

people walking on boardwalk, Asbury Park, New Jersey
Asbury Lanes | Sunday 13 November 2011 | Nikon D40 | AF-S DX Nikkor 35 mm f/1.8

All images (except for the Nikon) were scanned from Kodak Pro Image 100 35mm film negatives using an Epson Perfection V600 scanner, VueScan software and the Negative Lab Pro plugin for Adobe Lightroom.

Sunday 24 April 2022 · Minolta XD-11 · MD ROKKOR-X 45mm F2 · ISO 100

Author: Khürt Williams

I work in application security architecture and I live in Montgomery Township, New Jersey with my wife Bhavna. Passionate about photography, you’ll find me writing about cybersecurity, tropical aquariums, terrariums, hiking, craft breweries, and capturing birds on camera. My prose is like a caffeinated squirrel—fast, unpredictable, and occasionally insightful.

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