Monday, March 7, 2011

ShEpArD FaIrY: Obey Plagiaist _ Madii

Shepard Fairy: from humble beginnings as a defiant,
skateboard-obsessed art student,
he has developed into one of the most
influential street artists of our time.

Shepard Fairy, is the
mastermind behind the obscure
street posters, stickers and
stencils that combined the
words "Andre the giant has a
posse". With the visage of
deceased wrestling superstar,
Andre the Giant. By the early
1990’s the incomprehensible
images had become ubiquitous
in major urban centers around
the world, but in 1993 Titan
Sports, Inc.(now World Wrestling
Entertainment, Inc.)threatened to
sue Fairey for violating their
trademarked name, Andre the Giant.
Fairy responded to this threatening
lawsuit by altering the image of
Andre and incorporation the word
"obey" self-titled "absurdist propaganda"
campaign was born.

This poster widely described as
iconic, became synonymous with
the 2008 Obama presidential
campaign.The design was created
in one day and printed first as
a poster. Fairey sold 350 of the
posters on the street immediately
after printing them. It was then
more widely distributed—both as
a digital image and other
paraphernalia—during the 2008
election season,initially
independently but with the approval
of the official Obama campaign.
The image became one of the
most widely recognized symbols of
Obama's campaign message, spawning
many variations and imitations,
including some commissioned by
the Obama campaign.

Fairey is a street artist who

speaks out against the abuse

of power and militarism while

supporting people of color

and women who seek equity.

Given the recent erosion of

the United States’ moral

reputation and economic status

as a super power, the social

and political criticism of

Shepard Fairey’s street art

becomes more poignant.His

installation entitled

“Mujer Fatal” (2007) is a

blend of love, sensuality,

and police order. Wishful

thinking and reality are played

out in a conflicted political

arena where many nations resist

the domination of a super power.

They are caught in a dilemma

between envying and rejecting

the materialistic wealth of

contemporary America.

Fairey’s “Obey” series stands

out as an example of the

authoritarian influence of

propaganda poster art. In

Benito Mussolini’s fascist

Italy (1922-43) the credo of

the Fascist party was

“believe, obey, fight” (

Credere, Obbedire, Combattere

in Italian). Fairey’s posters

combine elements of world

history, blending fascist

symbols with the communist

propaganda art of the former

Soviet Union, the People’s

Republic of China, Vietnam,

and the imperialistic goals

of modern Japan (1895-1945).

His poster art reminds viewers

of the 1960’s mythology of a

peaceful and bountiful life style

in America, which was envied by

some and despised by others less

fortunate. It takes time to digest

the contradictions of Fairey’s

sweet young girl in “War by Numbers

(2007). The girl is holding a hand

grenade topped with a bright red

rose. She smells the rose’s scent

while bombers fly overhead. The

juxtaposition of sniffing a rose

while holding a hand grenade is so

loud that the viewer can almost

hear the drone of the warplanes This

poster contains psychological tension

created by the conflicting images of

sight, smell, and sound. Fairey

successfully blends and bonds

contradictory elements in his posters.

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