Read more on the street artist Shepard Fairey (Obey):
Short Bio of Shepard Fairey:
The Streetartist, Fine Artist, Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Skater (Frank) Shepard Fairey ( aka as Obey, because of his famous „Obey“ slogan) was born in 02.15.1970 in Charleston, South Carolina in the USA. He studied and graduated with a Bachelor of „Fine Arts“ in the year 1992.
As a youngster Shepard Fairey used to be a Skate Border and also worked in a Skate Bord Shop. His passion for Skateboarding and Art in this time was the main reason that he started doing T-Shirts for the Skater-Scene and of course his paste ups, that got spread all around.
His works are usually containing the works Black, White and Red and could be described as a mix of graffiti propaganda pop art.
OBEY, Andre the Giant – has a posse
The Streetart pieces that are (probably, maybe) showing the graphic of the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) star Andre the Giant, sometimes in combination with the word OBEY are part of the Streetart campaign: „Andre the Giant has a Posse“ that made him to one of the most known Streetartists he became. The picture that has was simply cut out of a newspaper was used for the first time in 1989. It was changed in a propaganda, stencil, trademark style and combined often with new slogans like: „Giant“, „Obey“ or „You Are Under Surveillance“. The people in the skating scene loved the confusion of the posters in the mix of the authority the Wrestler and the posters tried to practice the anti authority, the autonomy being the action and being of the poster. It didn’t really needed more than to get spread to create an own message. „The media is the message“. And the Streetart campaign seems to work the same way advertisement and propaganda does and became a big mirror to these „phenomenon“ and demystified them.
„He’s kind of advertising, but he’s advertising, nothing“ -Carlo McCormick.
After a while, the pastings crossed the borders of the skating scene and the posters started appearing everywhere in big city’s of the United States. The pastings became an experiment in phenomenology (how he calls it), and then a part of his success and of course: A world wide famous trademark.
„The real message behind most of my work is question everything“ – Shepard Fairey
HOPE – The Barack Obama Hope Poster
The next big step in his career was the poster showing a portrait of Barack Obama in a vector style with slogan: „Hope“ in the year 2008. Today probably every human in the first world has seen the artwork at least once. After Barack Obama had won the election he personally thanked Shepard Fairey, the letter started with the sentences:
„I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can change the status-quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign. I am privileged to be a part of your artwork and proud to have your support. I wish you continued success and creativity.“ – Barack Obama, 02.22.2008
„Exit Through the Gift Shop“
In March (UK) and April (USA) Banksys Streetart Movie „Exit through the Gift Shop“ was released. Featuring Streetart Stars like Sweef Toof, Cyclops, SWOON, Space Invader, André and so on. Now Streetart became known to people who never had any contact to Streetart before. And the artist, including Shepard Fairey had a new platform to show and explain what (and why) they are doing.