Monday, January 19, 2009

Graffiti Artist Creates Iconic Obama Images

Shepard Fairey is a graffiti artist who made his first image of Barack Obama in poster format which he pasted on to walls in Los Angeles and San Francisco at the beginning of 2008 to support the Obama campaign. After it was reproduced on the cover of Time magazine it became so popular that it was turned into badges and T-shirts with the word "Hope" emblazoned on them. Screenprints were then made and sold on the Obama website to raise funds for the campaign.

In January 2009 it was announced that a unique stencilled portrait, based on the ubiquitous poster image, had been commissioned by US collectors Heather and Tony Podesta, whose brother, John, is one of Obama's advisors, and donated by them to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. Martin Sullivan, director of the gallery, said: "This work is an emblem of a significant election, as well as a new presidency."

Fairey has done alternative versions for Esquire, Time, and Washington Life magazines which were spoofed by Mad Magazine in its own unique way.

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