If the 2008 election year could be captured in one image, it would be visual artist, Shepard Fairey’s ‘Hope’ poster of President Barack Obama. That image, along with the ‘Yes We Can’ image Fairey worked on after Obama captured the majority vote, became synonymous with the man himself. From street light posts to billboards, Fairey’s infamous effigy of the POTUS was everywhere, and in some parts of the country, still is.
But what about all the other works of art Fairey did before and after the campaign that made him famous? In the art world, the Rhode Island School of Design graduate has been making a name for himself since he burst onto the scene in 1989 with his now legendary ‘OBEY’ stickers, featuring an arresting facial portrait of the wrestler Andre the Giant.
Fairey has since become a trademark street guru in the guerrilla art world. His works, seen in the form of stickers, murals, outdoor posters in unexpected settings give us relief within the banalities of commercialized everyday life. Some criticize him as being a sell-out due to his mainstream popularity, but ‘coolness’ is fundamentally suicidal. As soon as the next dope thing emerges from underground, people move on to the next fresh thing. Fairey should not be discredited based on the popularity of his style, rather, his global appeal should be examined further.
Here is a list of 10 lesser exposed pieces by Shepard Fairey that may become the cultural artifacts of our generation helping us to understand beauty and pain through art.
NEXT PAGE: ‘MUJER FATAL‘
1) ‘Mujer Fatal’
NEXT PAGE: ‘CLOSE KNIT’
2) ‘Close Knit’
NEXT PAGE: ‘MUHAMMAD ALI’
3) ‘Muhammad Ali’
NEXT PAGE: ‘WAR BY NUMBERS MURAL’
4) ‘War By Numbers Mural’
NEXT PAGE: ‘HAITI’
5) ‘Relief for Haiti Print’
NEXT PAGE: ‘J-DILLA’
NEXT PAGE: ‘MALCOLM X’
7) ‘Malcolm X’
NEXT PAGE: COMPASSION (HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA)
8) ‘Compassion (His Holiness the Dalai Lama)’
NEXT PAGE: ‘COLD