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Published: 2012/06/04

Neil Young and Shepard Fairey Premiere Americana Art Series

Artist Shepard Fairey’s new series of musically-based paintings—a collaboration with Neil Young and Crazy Horse for their upcoming album, Americana —premiered last night at L.A.’s Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Each of the album’s 11 tracks, which are all gritty reworkings of American folk standards like “Clementine,” “This Land is Your Land,” and “Oh Susanna,” is visually represented in Fairey’s 11 paintings. The two elements together are meant to make audiences reassess the songs’ meanings.

According to, Young wanted the songs to return to “the tension of the original message,” and enlisted Fairey’s help to visually interpret that message.

“We discovered a lot of depth in these songs and the visuals of these are just amazing,” Young tells Rolling Stone. “‘Clementine’ is so deep with its original verses and this art, you really get a feeling for the tenseness and desperation of the situation, the unresolved death and longing.”

Fairey, a street artist known for the Obama “Hope” poster he designed in 2008, created the paintings with the Great Depression and the recent recession in mind, among other American struggles. One of the works depicts a young man’s face behind barbed wire and reads “NO TRESPASSING, THIS LAND IS MY LAND.” The series will be on display at the Rubenstein from June 28th to July 4th and will then follow Young and Crazy Horse on a short tour in support of the album.

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