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“Leaving your name on the wall is a primitive drive—about broadcasting your nameand about claiming territory. I was here and this is mine,” writes artist Shepard Fairey in the introduction of The Autograph Book of L.A. This new book, along with an exhibit at Central Library, kicks-off the final installment of a trilogy of special projects curated by Josh Kun—after Songs in the Key of Los Angeles and To Live and Dine in L.A.—surveying the social and cultural history of Los Angeles through the Los Angeles Public Library’s special collections. Join us for a celebration that brings together Fairey and Gajin Fujita—contributors to the book and two of today’s most renowned artists who are also the first artists to re-imagine artwork for the Los Angeles Public Library card. From the ephemeral nature of graffiti to the lasting legacy of cultural artifacts to broader social ideas, this special conversation at Central Library with an introduction by Assistant City Librarian Susan Broman will trace the contours of the autograph and what it means to leave your mark.

Gajin Fujita

Gajin Fujita is the son of Japanese parents who raised him in Boyle Heights. As a teenager, Fujita became fascinated with graffiti, joining tagging crews and following his path towards fine art. His pride for his L.A. roots and reverence for Japanese art history are found incorporated in his paintings—seen through his usage of graffiti language, Edo-period woodblock prints, and West Coast cultural symbols. From New Orleans to Sydney, his work has been included in museum exhibitions worldwide including LACMA, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Austrian Gallery Belvedere, and more. Fujita is represented by L.A. Louvre gallery in Venice Beach, CA.

Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey is a graphic artist and social activist. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, his career started in Providence, RI while at RISD with his “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker campaign that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign. From his guerrilla street art presence to his large-scale painted public murals, Fairey communicates his brand of social critique by blurring the boundary between traditional and commercial art through type and image. The artist is perhaps best known for his Hope (2008) campaign, which portrays a portrait of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. Fairey currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. His works are included in the collections of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Josh Kun

Josh Kun is a professor in the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California, where he directs the Popular Music Project of the Norman Lear Center. He is the author or editor of several books, including Audiotopia: Music, Race and America, and his writings on music and culture have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles TimesThe American ProspectLos Angeles Magazine, and many other publications. As a curator and consultant, he has worked with The Getty Foundation, the GRAMMY Museum, the Santa Monica Museum of Art, the Autry Museum, the Skirball Cultural Center, and others.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the reservation policy for ALOUD?

    As most ALOUD at Central Library programs are free of charge, it is our policy to overbook. In the case of a FULL program your free reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend arriving early. Space permitting, unclaimed reservations will be released to standby patrons at 7 PM.

  • Why do programs fill so quickly?

    ALOUD provides a unique experience for the public to engage with scholars, authors, and artists in the intimate 235-seat Mark Taper Auditorium. Library Foundation Members have the benefit of reserving for programs in advance of the public. Consider joining as a Member to receive this benefit, and check the website on an on-going basis for program availability. Be sure to subscribe to our email alerts, and visit our Media Archive for podcasts and other items from our recent programs.

  • Where does ALOUD take place?

    Unless otherwise noted, ALOUD programs are held at the downtown Central Library’s Mark Taper Auditorium.

  • Where should I park for ALOUD programs?

    We recommend taking public transportation. Parking for the Central Library is at the Westlawn Garage at 524 S. Flower Street. For more information, visit the Library’s website.

  • Should I purchase the author’s book in advance?

    We encourage you to purchase books from the Library Store. All proceeds benefit the Los Angeles Public Library. Books are made available for purchase when you reserve for a program online, and are also on sale at programs. In order to participate in the book signing, you must purchase at least one book from The Library Store. Members receive discounts on purchases.

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