When Shepard Fairey speaks his eyes go someplace else. They squint and look beyond you, alternating left and then right, scanning the entirety of his surroundings. It isn't posturing and he isn't searching for a more interesting person to flag down. The fact of the matter is that Fairey has the eyes of a scavenger.
An aggressive life of street art is the culprit; it will lead a man to watch for trouble, to constantly be on alert for the canary in the coal mine. Contrary to the optical shift Fairey never teeters in composure, and when asked questions he answers them meditatively and in layers, like he's peeling away stencil after stencil of thought. Today, this mural he and his crew are creating is in a safe place, and soon they'll all eat hamburgers in perfect weather. People will take pictures of his face. He will paint on legal walls. Nobody will be arrested.
Fairey's eyes won't register those things. They can't. After Sunday it's back to business as usual, and his business is to spread his art as quickly and targeted as he possibly can while holding true to his very strict, and self-scribed philosophies.
I caught up with Fairey outside of the Dallas Contemporary where he and his crew were putting up one of five massive works around town.