The Flyer


San Diego news paper, September 28th, 2001

I was in sixth grade when I first saw one. All I could think was What is This?” said William.*

Starling yet famililar, everyone knows the stickers-those dark, thundering eyes glaring from a plump, harshly lit male face. They are plastered everywhere:from lampposts in Rome to large billboards in san Diego. But few know how these stickers with their simple slogan have become so widely dispersed. Many questions arise. First of all, obey whom?

Begun by Shepard Fairey, a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, in 1989, the first sticker was a hand-stenciled sketch of the former WWF wrestler “obey giant.” Made at a local Kinko’s, the sticker included the phrase, “obey giant has a Posse.”

The Obey sticker campaingn is more than just an act of petty artistic vandalism. According to Fairey, his campaign is a social and psychological experiment in “[stimulating] people’s curiosity and [bringing] people to question both the sticker and their surroundings.”

Already having pasted 25 to 30 Obey stickers on campus, William also sees a social message behind Fairey’s work. I hope the stickers will make people think.