Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Shepard Fairey is a graphic designer who has produced a series of posters for Barack Obama. Fairey holds a BA in Illustration from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which he received in 1992. Fairey comes out of the skateboarding scene, and initially became known for his André the Giant Has a Posse sticker campaign. Fairey markets his work through his online company Obey Giant, where he sells posters, stickers, clothing, and other assorted goodies.
Fairey's Obama posters have been particularly hot items as of late. Of course, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and these posters have been widely imitated; or, to be more accurate, widely satirized, as we will soon see below.
Fairey's graphic style is heavily influenced by Russian and other communist propaganda posters of the early to mid-twentieth century. Of course, the fact that the Obama posters resemble popular images of Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara is of no concern to most folks on the left-- for many, these guys are their heroes! That being said, these posters make a strong visual statement, then and now.
Another groovy poster, by the artist known as The Mac.
This image of Hillary Clinton leans more towards the Chinese poster influence. Some of the Obama posters are picking up on this look as well.
With a heavy dose of irony, Bill Gates is even portrayed in this manner.
Of course, there are those on the right that can't resist having some fun with all of this. Talk about being thrown a softball!
I looked for some McCain posters-- I couldn't even find any. I think that the Republicans have gone into hibernation. One would assume that once the campaign gets into high gear, we will be seeing some McCain posters, although I would be willing to bet that they will not look like the posters we have been looking at-- look for an American flag motif, etc. Then again, to those on the far right, McCain might just as well be running as a Democrat, so who knows!
In case you have been wondering who I am supporting for president, I'm voting for Clinton. No, not Hillary, George Clinton!
(image created by yours truly)
So, come this fall, don't forget to vote. Or not.