Shepard Fairey Stars As Street Art Gets The Simpsons Treatment (VIDEO)
You could call it the last nail in the coffin for street art's underground credentials, or simply proof its biggest stars don't take themselves too seriously: either way Shepard Fairey's appearance on a new episode of The Simpsons is worth a watch.
Fairey - who designed the famous 'hope' poster from the Obama election campaign and whose trademark 'Obey' stickers are well-known around London and the world - appeared on the show in Exit Through The Kwik-E-Mart alongside other figures from the scene Robbie Conan, Kenny Scharf and Ron English.
The Simpsons being The Simpsons, the script pokes fun at both the street art movement ("If it's in a gallery, how is it street art?" Bart asks when offered a chance to put his graffiti in an exhibition) and Fairey's name (no prizes for guessing which character's laugh is used here).
Fairey's work can be found throughout the capital, both in the Victoria and Albert Museum and the markets of Brick Lane where prints of his satirical, tabloid-inspired images do a roaring trade.
But an appearance on the Fox network show The Simpsons, for all the cartoon's late-90s edginess, is now a standard step for fringe or cult celebrities looking to boost their mainstream profiles.
While Britain's best known wall tagger Banksy has also made an appearance on the show, it was as a writer, creating this intro sequence in 2010 that took a swipe at the Murdoch media empire:
Not that street artists on either side of the pond have been particularly reluctant to embrace fame or fortune.
Though his exact identity remains a mystery, Banksy has sold prints to Hollywood stars and was even nominated for an Oscar for Exit Through The Gift Shop, the title parodied by The Simpsons Fairey episode.
Meanwhile in areas such as Wynwood in Miami (also home to some Shepard Fairey efforts) street art is openly embraced by the community and local businesses alike who pay up to $20,000 (£12,600) for pieces by local figues such as Lebo.
Nor does the relationship between street art and The Simpsons only go one way. Check out this collection of urban artwork inspired by the famous yellow family: