NYC: Obey Giant/Obama for America, 2008
90 x 60cm, full colour offset lithographic poster with a design by Shepard Fairey (Obey).
The iconic Obama portrait created by Fairey as the KEY image of the progressive campaign to elect Barack Obama as the 51st President of the United States of America.
The poster could not have been more effective and was perhaps the highpoint of Obey’s artistic career as thereafter over-production, ubiquitous parody in all media forms, disputes over copyright and source material including legal actions by those who should know better (unfair but energy sapping) and the slow shift in artistic mores and tastes has meant that in art market terms Fairey’s star has wained a little since 2008 (but to be clear this is a view from a market perspective not an aesthetic judgement).
To defend Fairey his work is clearly appropriational in part, and while one can also point to a clear influence from a 1920’s graphic design meme (for instance there is a poster for Lang’s Metropolis which clearly prefigures the colour schemes and abstractions of the mass produced editioned prints of the 2000s) this misses the point as early urban interventionist works by Obey (based around the distilled and trimmed down image of the face of wrestler Andre the Giant) are part of a deliberate artistic effort to undermine the commercialised daily barrage of images designed to sell products.
We strongly believe Obey will be seen as a major world artist in the future and like many such artists (Warhol, Hirst, Dali) the money making years will not and should not be be held against his years of fine and outstanding agit-prop works (again in a clear constructivist/socialist realism stream of history).
But we digress, this is one of many thousands of the posters distributed by the Obama campaign and Obey and is NOT one of the editioned prints released by Obey – but it is signed by Fairey bottom right after a DJ set during the election. Fine and rare signed.