Tuesday, February 24, 2009

I OBEY Giant

I first came to find out about Shepard Fairey during my freshman year at RISD when I saw the OBEY sticker that had placed him on the map on graffiti art. I was educated by a friend on the brief history of this artist and the massive attention this one sticker that displayed Andre the Giant. He pioneered graffiti art and introduced guerilla art to a larger audience. I’ve always been interested in art where the subject matter is a commentary on pop culture.

There is a current show in the ICA (The Institute of Contemporary Art) that I was able to visit this weekend while I was in Boston. The show exhibits a range of work from the contemporary and sometimes controversial graphic artist, Shepard Fairey. Fairey has become a worldwide cultural phenomenon, which seemed to have come overnight with the image of the century, the iconic “Hope” portrait which pictures our current president, Barack Obama (image above). It displays Obama looking out into the distance with a look of optimism, the image has become such a strong statement for our historic year of change. The image also exhibited Fairey to the mainstream audience, although Fairey has been making work since the early 1990s. His first piece which gained mass recognition in the art world was a campaign sticker her designed while he was studying at RISD.

Pieces also featured in the show…

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