This week, we watched a film called “Bomb it” and it discussed graffiti art. The film talked about many artists from different countries but the one I want to focus on is Shepard Fairey. I chose him because I really like his art work and clothing line.
Shepard Fairey is a very talented artist, who started off as a street artist. Today, he is very successful and his work has made it to galleries. He owns a clothing line called “Obey Propaganda” and he started it with a very simple idea. He was making a stencil of Andre the giant and liked how it came out. The phrase “obey” came from the movie “They Live”. In the movie, advertisements and commercial billboards were looked at as being forced onto the consumers. People blindly follow big corporations and obey, buying whatever it is they are selling.
Shepard was against this type of commercial propaganda and began to raise awareness. He began placing his Andre the giant stencil in places that would grab people’s attention. Eventually people began to approach him and buy his stencils, this is what lead him to start a clothing line.
The main reason I like Shepard Fariey is because, he incorporates politics in his artwork. War, love, and government intervention, are common themes of his work. His work really makes a statement and is able to get a reaction from the audience. Most of the time it is negative comments but that is better than no reaction. In my opinion, negative comments are also helpful because your reaching out to people and making them think and react.
I believe Shepard really began to be famous with his Obama hope poster. Immediately after he made the poster, it was everywhere from walls to newspapers.
Lastly, Shepard Fariey started a big movement but in a way it is ironic. He wanted people to stop “obeying” and buying whatever you see on posters. In a way, he is doing what he wanted to stop. Not on purpose but his clothing brand has turned into a fashion statement instead of holding his philosophical beliefs. Regardless, he is my favorite artist.