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SHEPARD FAIREY

By , chicago ridge, IL
“The real message behind most of my work is question everything”
Shepard Fairey was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. He started to become involved with art 1984. He started small artistic methods such as drawing on skate boards and shirts. He graduated in 1988 from Idyllwild arts academy. He then graduated from Rhode Island school of design with a bachelor of fine art in illustration in 1992. “Fairey launched his career with a series of obscure street posters, stickers and stencils that combined the words ‘Andre the Giant Has a Posse’(occasion of Fairey’s Los Angeles solo exhibition) with the visage of deceased wrestling superstar, Andre the Giant” He then joined a small printing business and started specializing in t-shirts and stickers screens. Many people fallow into his footsteps because he’s very good at his art work and if you put your mind and effort into it, you can be noticed in what you believe.

Fairey’s first art exhibition was in the summer of 2009 hosted in Boston at the institute of contemporary art. During the exhibition he had done public art around Boston. He created the “André the giant has a pose” sticker and then later started using in it in his obeys street work. The obey giant was designed to inspire curiosity and cause the viewers to ask about it. Such as what does it mean? Why did he choose the name? Fairey had said “At first I was only thinking about the response from my clique of art school and skateboard friends. The fact that a larger segment of the public would not only notice, but investigate; the unexplained appearance of the stickers was something I had not contemplated. When I started to see reactions and consider the sociological forces at work surrounding the use of public space and the insertion of a very eye-catching but ambiguous image, I began to think there was the potential to create a phenomenon” he has made obey and his other art work into clothing line and started making his money from there. In 2004 fairey joined Robbie Conal and Mear One to make a series of anti-war and anti-bush posters for a street campaign called “be the revolution” it went into a big hit and started turning heads. Then in 2008 he joined up with Z-Trip to do a few different types of presidential campaigns for Barack Obama. He was arrested in February of 2009; he was arrested for two warrants that lead to graffiti he was charged with damage to property for putting posters in Boston illegally. He went to court to fight back against the vandalizing that they accused him of doing. He pleaded not guilty to one misdemeanor and 13 felony’s charges.
“The HOPE poster was based on a copyrighted photograph taken in April 2006 by Mannie Garcia while on assignment for the Associated Press (AP), which wants credit and compensation for the work”( Legal issues with appropriation and fair use) Fairey started to create posters to support Barack Obama. His famous work was the “HOPE” poster; he also created the poster “rock to vote “. But there was a problem with the “HOPE” poster; it was made illegally so Obama’s campaign did not want anything to do with it. Even though they did not use it, Obama’s campaign was often questioned about it. “Fairey has stated that the original version featured the word ‘PROGRESS’ instead of the word ‘HOPE,’ and that within weeks of its release, the campaign requested that he issue (and legally disseminate) a new version, keeping the powerful image of Obama's face but captioning it with the word ‘HOPE’” (“Barack Obama ‘Hope’ Poster”). His campaign also wanted Fairey to do other posters such as “CHANGE” and “VOTE”. This created a view of a different kind; people started to look at the new trend of campaign fliers and started to react to them. After that Fairey started making shirts and stickers of the posters that were made.

Fairey had criticism for having other people steal his own art work. He threatened a sue on an artist that used the same technique that he has used in the past and still till this day, which is the “obey giant face”. They used it but the only other thing they did was cover the “obey giant” face with an SARS respiratory mask. The artist that was accused of stealing Fairey’s work started selling prints threw his own website. On April 23, 2008 he received a signed cease-and-desist order from Fairey’s attorneys telling the artist to take down the design that he took called “protect” because he violated Fairey’s trademark. Fairey threaten the artist that he would sue. He also called the artist a “parasite”

Shepard Fairey is an incredible artist in my eyes, he’s very creative and on topic when it comes to making his posters. His posters are meant to come at our corrupt government, and at all the problems that us a country has done to other country’s that some people don’t really pay attention to. I believe his art work is amazing and inspiring. I wish to grow up and create art work and symbolize something that the world can see and recognize right away. I chose this artist because he’s a big influence on my life and he’s an amazing artist.












Works Cited
Fairey, Shepard, ed. "Shepard Fairey: Street Art and Politics in Copenhagen." Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post. Http://www.huffingtonpost.com/shepard-fairey/street-art-and-politics-i_b_926802.html, 14 Aug. 2011. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com>.
Fairey, Shepard Fairey. "Shepard Fairey." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 11 Sept. 2011. Web. 8 Aug. 2011. <http://en.wikipedia.org>.
Schumann, Heidi. "Shepard Fairey." The New York Times. The New York Times, 12 Mar. 2009. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. <http://topics.nytimes.com>.





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