Sunday, October 11, 2009

Shepard Fairey /Propaganda Poster Art

1920s by Russian Constructivist artist Alexander Rodchenko

Contemporary artist, graphic designer and illustrator Shepard Fairey took interest in The Afternoons, creating a poster campaign featuring the title of the bands first single "Say Yes." The posters appeared around Los Angeles shortly after Fairey's "Obama Progress" Campaign.

This is just one example, of many, that I found of contemporary propaganda poster art that draws it's inspiration by looking back on history.
When you mention political and/or propaganda art in today's society, you will most certainly run across the name and work of Shepard Fairey. Fairey began his career as a 'street' artist and his work was licensed on products such as skateboards and t-shirts. He is, probably, best known for his Obama "Hope" poster from the 2008 U.S. Presidential campaign.
His work draws much fire from critics who say that Fairey appropriates the work of others, some even going so far as to call him a plagiarist. The Obama poster has caused much controversy due to the fact that Mr. Fairey did appear to use an A.P. photo as his "guide". In today's world it may be easier, with the aid of the computer and software such as Photo shop,
to 'incorporate' the works of others but, in my humble opinion, the critics should not be so quick to cast harsh aspersions on the artist. After all, with other names such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, isn't he in good company?

Kristen Powers
works cited:
Shepard Fairey
Obey Giant
Mark Vallen
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