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Friday, October 10, 2008

Artist of the Week: OBEY Obama

You probably recognize the poster. Barack Obama's face colored in red white and blue, and the either the words progress, hope, or change, written below. Shepard Fairey's propaganda style Obama screenprint posters sold out within moments of its release, and no more editions are planned to be released. Shepard Fairey, Rhode Island School of Design student and original creator of Obey Giant, has been releasing designs since 1989. 

The Andre the Giant Has a Posse street art campaign first started out as an inside joke directed at hip hop and skater subculture, and was based on the french wrestler and actor, Andre the Giant. The design was originally distributed by the skater community, as vinyl stickers and paper posters. However, the "propaganda" spread, and today it has become a world-wide movement. The stickers and posters were placed in major cities across the world like New York, Boston, Paris, Japan, Greece, and more. However, after a lawsuit in '98 from Titan Sports Inc., Fairey was forced to change the trademark name of Andre the Giant to the iconic OBEY brand. He used the wrestler's face in a star for his logo, and Obey Giant, or OBEY, was born. Shepard Fairey's latest and most popular release has been the Obama screenprint which were released in January of 2008. 

Graphic designer Shepard Fairey poses next to his artwork.

3 comments:

Lily Hydrangea said...

This is amazing! What interesting history Arnold!

alt-gramma said...

I'll be darned--I never knew that was Andre the Giant!

Wayfaring Wanderer said...

hmmmm, I always thought it was Banksy.....