If you go

WHAT: "The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns"

WHEN: May 22-July 12

WHERE: Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art, 161 Calhoun St.

COST: Free

MORE INFO: halsey.cofc.edu; 953-4422

Many artists are perfectly content to present their viewers with forms and figures, sometimes explicitly, sometimes couched in abstraction. Their work is about aesthetic value: composition, balance, dynamism, color, expression, often imbued with, or evocative of, human emotion.

But some artists use their pictures as a language that describes something unrelated to pure aesthetics.

The art is put in the service of cultural or political com-mentary.

Two such artists, both rebels in their distinctive ways, will be presented by the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art from May 22-July 12 in what is certain to be remembered as one of the most significant shows the venue has organized.

"The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns" will feature the work of two South Carolina natives and draw attention to interesting similarities and big differences between them.

Additionally, Fairey is creating five outdoor public murals on the Charleston peninsula, for which special clearance had to be obtained from the city.

Those murals appear on the exterior of College Lodge, 159 Calhoun St.; across from Highwire Distillery, 652 King St.; on the north facing wall of Groucho's Deli, 364 King St.; on the elevator extension atop the Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St.; and beneath the King Street marquee of the Sottile Theatre.