amante and i got our new edition of relevant.magazine last week, and as i have been flicking thru it in my spare time, i have read an article about this guy about three times.  shepard fairey is his name, and he is a screen print artist whose primary medium is propaganda.  anyone who took modern history in high school will remeber the propaganda art of world war two and the cold war… well, that’s what this guy does. 

an excerpt from the article:

[Fairey’s] artwork, screen prints that borrow imagery from Soviet-era war images and the ominous eyes of the late pro-wrestler Andre the Giant, was showing up on street signs, T-shirts and even billboards…Fairey’s ambiguous brand, Obey, began to claim quite the following.

    “I got inspired by grafitti and street art to sort of take it to the street,” Fairey says, remembering the early days of Obey.  “And at first it was just wall stickers and putting them at skate spots and at stop signs and in clubs-anywhere in the right way of people.  I got more into it;I started making bigger images with posters and stencils and even taking a physical silk screen out onto the street and screening onto walls.  It was very impractical, but fun.”

    But the more his operation grew, the more ambiguious the actual meaning behind the images became, and as it turned out, that was kind of the point. While in art school, Fairey began to observe the agenda of mainstream art that had been adopted by corporations to sell products and push for services…

    Soon, Fairey developed… some of his favorite artwork, much of it Cold War propaganda with simple colors and shapes accompanied by one word: “Obey.”  Except, there was a major difference between his screen printed posters, T-shirts and stickers and the mass media images that were everywhere:  With Obey, there was no product.  This was not a viral marketing campaign.  The message was the image, meant to evoke thought and curiosity about art.”
                ~from “Shepard Fairey: Enlightening the Mainstream”
by Jesse Carey in Relevant Magazine.Issue 25.Mar_Apr 2007

i love this guy!  i love the idea of art for art, instead of art for meaning!  and the images are so powerful:






now for the other half of this post, you absolutely HAVE to run right out and get the album under the influence of giants by the band under the influence of giants. 


think bee-gees meet the shins.  think awesome road trip music.  another relevant.mag pick, i heard this album for the first time in toledo and HAD to have it (i don’t own it yet… i borrowed it from the library.  ‘lyss, if you are reading, that would make a great b-day gift, but don’t worry, i won’t expect it before june.  unless you bring it with you when you come home!!!).  check it out… because you love me, if for no other reason. 


~ by Erin on 17 March, 2007.

3 Responses to “obey.giants”

  1. That is interesting art…I wonder why & how he chooses his topics? I personally like the “lesser gods” one; bet you couldn’t have guessed that, though! lol

  2. he just really likes the ambiguity of the propaganda. and i think that, combined with the boldness of the screenprinting really attracts me to it. the screen prints aren’t expensive… i am thinking of getting one for the apartment! here’s the main shepard fairey website if you are interested: http://www.obeygiant.com/main.php

  3. Y’know, I’ve already been there! Thing is….I don’t remember how I got there. lol

    Oh, and you need to check out the comments on my latest blog post…really. 😉

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