Saturday, 7 February 2009

Did you know that...

...the artist responsible for the iconic "HOPE" image of Obama, is the same artist behind the "Obey" face?

Shepard Fairey, a street artist from L.A., created the Obey face back in the 90's-- it's the face of Andre the Giant (remember Princess Bride?)-- when he was a student at RISD. The "icon face" as Fairey calls it, can still be found in cities across the world, and even on clothing apparel.

While Fairey is probably one of best known American street artists, his work didn't really hit mainstream fame until his recent HOPE image. The artistic depiction of Obama has been everywhere the past few months, and there are probably few who haven't seen it. However, Fairey's enjoyment of his work's success has been rather short lived-- The Associated Press has accused Fairey of copyright infringement, as the photo the image is based off was taken by Mannie Garcia, a photographer for the AP. While questions have been raised as to whether or not the HOPE image actually counts a copyright infringement, the issue has yet to be resolved and could result in Fairey losing quite a bit of money.
To top things off, Fairey was arrested today under accusations of tagging, inconceivable, no? (sorry, I couldn't help it). The artist, who has been making a lot of money from selling copies of his poster, and has recently had his work included in an exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery in London, probably wasn't expecting such a sudden downturn in events. At least he has "hope."

source: LA Times (Culture Monster, ALFRESCO)
images: google image search

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