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Shepard Fairey gets artsy with Neil Young's new 'Americana' album

May 15, 2012|By Jamie Wetherbe
  • "Americana" artwork will feature original paintings by Shepard Fairey.
"Americana" artwork will feature original paintings by Shepard… (Screen shot from Neilyoung.com )

Shepard Fairey has a prominent new canvas — or 11.

The street artist has teamed up with Neil Young to create the artwork for the rocker's new album with Crazy Horse, "Americana," the band's first release in nine years.

Fairey isn't just tagging the cover — he's creating an original painting for each track on the album. The artwork will be for sale at a one-day private exhibition at Santa Monica's Perry Rubenstein Gallery on June 1 and is expected to be on display for the masses in upcoming music videos and the staging of Young's "Americana" tour.

Images include the Queen of England and Betsy Ross stitching American and British flags against the text, "God save the land of liberty," the New York Times reports.

The album of classic American folk tunes — many considered protest songs in their time — will be released June 5. Songs include "This Land Is Your Land” and "Clementine."

Fairey said he was surprised by the music legend's creative involvement. The designer, whose Obama posters prompted copyright suits, had to submit several original digital drafts inspired by the song's narratives for Young's choosing.

This isn't the first time the pair have collaborated: Young tapped Fairey to create the cover art for the 25th anniversary of Young's annual Bridge School benefit shows. And Fairey included Young in “May Day,” a 2010 show of poster collages that portrayed left-leaning cultural leaders.

Here's Neil Young & Crazy Horse's take on "Oh Susannah" from "Americana."

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