Sherpard Fairey lives and works in Los Angeles. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992 with a BA in Illustration.
The Obey campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. The first aim of Phenomenology is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one's environment. The Obey campaign attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious, frequent encounters with Obey propaganda provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail.
"Street Art is like the new punk rock--it's entering the mainstream," said William Haugh, director of Juxtapoz magazine. "And Shepard is behind all that."
For many, many years the mainstream art world looked at street art as vandalism. Now it's influencing the brands and the galleries. It's a natural evolution.
There's an unmistakable note of glee in his voice when he describes "bombing"--or shimmying up drain pipes and scaffolding to illegally paste posters--in nearly 40 public spots around San Francisco.
"When you walk down the street and see something in a crazy spot, there's something powerful about that," said Fairey. "The street will always be an important part of getting art out there for me."
If the first two decades of Fairey's career were dedicated to counterculture and skirting the boundaries of the mainstream art world, he's now riding the wave of success from his Obama posters into the next phase of art.
For interviews with Shepard Fairey, click here
THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN POSTER
Fairey created the portrait of Barack Obama that TIME Magazine used as the cover art for its 2008 Person of the Year edition issue. click here
In January 2009, the 'HOPE' image was acquired by the US National Portrait Gallery, and became a part of the permanent collection. It was unveiled and put on display at the Gallery on January 17, 2009.
Although Fairey rose to fame for illicitly papering cities around the world with his signature stencils, the Los Angeles-based graphic designer says he hopes his iconic Obama posters will inspire more than just an underground revolution: He wants to infect the masses with the spirit of change.
Fairey's transition from rogue street artist to art professional hasn'tdiminished his radical edge. He recently added an arrest to his already sizable rap sheet, this time for papering Denver with Obama stickers and fliers during the Democratic National Convention.
USA Network has announced the winners of the first-ever Character Approved Awards to honor individuals from a cross-section of creative disciplines who are positively influencing American culture. This years winner for Art is artist and street art sensation, Shepard Fairey. With a one-of-a-kind style and keen eye for design, Faireys unique approach to spreading art among the masses blended the worlds of pop culture and politics this past election cycle in a way no one could have ever predicted. His iconic HOPE image of President Barack Obama became a national sensation, recently being dedicated in the National Portrait Gallery at the Smithsonian. For more information on Shepard Fairey and the Character Approved Awards, visit http://characterapproved.usanetwork.com.
Link: SHEPARD FAIREY and Andre the Giant Link: SHEPARD FAIREY-Winner Character Approved Awards
Shepard Fairey on the Colbert Report