New Monday Hong Kong, February 16, 2001
New Monday Hong Kong
SHEPARD FAIREY PROFILE
Shepard Fairey, 31, loves the 7inch 4 feet, weight 520 lbs, famous wrestler Andrew the giant. he started posting his Giant’s posters out in the streets since 1989.Shepard’s style is similar to the USSR propaganda, very pop art.He has his own brand and after futura, he designs Levi’s posters.
#70 March 11, 2001
A month ago during a car trip to downtown Allentown, I noticed there were these ugly sticker covering a lot of poles and stop signs. Now recently I have seen this graffiti at local convenient stores with the large words “obey.” It seems like something of a gang symbol. Have you encountered these stickers and what is our township doing to have this trash removed from the street?
Ironically, up until two weeks ago, I had never come in contact with such a thing. But on my Saturday jog, I saw two high school kids placing them on a stop sign. Well, when I saw them, they must have thought I was with the local authority and quickly scurried away. The sticker, which also said boldly “OBEY” appeared to be a sticker of legendary wrestler, obey giant. My only conclusion is it’s probably some local rock band spreading the word. As for the township doing it’s part we have taken a some steps in controlling graffiti in our town and the police department is doing it’s part in stopping vandals from covering our street signs and walls. Thank you for your concern.
November / December 2000
The hottest people places and things on the planet
Known for its colorful posters which evoke propaganda and art, nostalgia and futurism, Obey/Giant is the brainchild of Shepard Fairey, president of San Diego’s BLK/MRKT Design who launched his career by printing caricatures of the late wrestler Andre the Giant on stickers. The company’s bold graphic posters (available from www.obeygiant.com) incorporate iconography like planes, workers and soldiers, showing how society is motivated and influenced by symbols. (they also designed the Gear 100 opening spread)
Gen-Next Art Collecting January 2001
By Jon Alain Guzik
You’re not a dot-com millionaire or big Hollywood star, you may not even be an up-and-coming media mogul – those cats collect the things you can’t afford anyway. My ear to the street says their tastes are veddy, veddy expensive. Christina Ricci dropped $16K on works by local painter Bill Shortridge and photographer Robbie Caponetto at a recent Los Angeles benefit. This is not you and it is not me. So what are Gen-X art folk collecting? Art lovers, especially local gallery owners, can’t seem to resist the playfully ironic pictures of subjects ranging from childhood antics to modern-day romance by the husband-and-wife team of Scott and Denise Davis, known as Davis & Davis (davisanddavis.org). “People who buy our work are pretty young,” says Denise. “When I ask them what they do, they’re usually stylists, photographers and artists.” And with price tags ranging from $200 to $1,000, even we semi-pauper (er, um, cheap) folks can afford them. Check out Davis & Davis in a group show this month at Holly Matter (www.hollymatter.com) called “Under the Queen Size Bed.” Someone I like who has a celeb following is musician, artist and all-around weirdo Daniel Johnston. As his music fan base continues to grow, so has the regard for this manic-depressive’s felt-tip drawn creatures and superheroes. One of his notable collectors is Simpsons creator Matt Groening, who owns a number of Johnston’s drawings and shares his love for comic books. Loyal fans packed Johnston’s one-night-only show at Zero One Gallery on Melrose last year, where his childlike art was presented alongside painter Ron English’s grand interpretations of selected Johnston cartoons. Johnston’s usual cult following of indie rockers (Kurt Cobain donned his T-shirt, Beck and Yo La Tengo cover his songs), geek-chic hipsters and leather-clad characters were present lining up to buy The Definitive Daniel Johnston Handbook (Soft Skull Press, 2000), and a chance to see the man himself. I was there, were you? So enough with all the starfucking. Chances are you’re not a celebrity (yet) and, like myself, you don’t get art for free, unless of course you’ve pulled the ol’ “Nazis during the war trick” and stolen your priceless works of art. Perhaps you were lucky enough to snatch one of Shepard Fairey’s ever-popular Andre the Giant posters or stickers (www.andrethegiant.com), or successfully rip a poster off a city surface by local favorite Robbie Conal (www.robbieconal.com), without spending a dime. Although the notoriety of these two artists, in part, is due to the fact that Gen-Xers from all over roam the streets to “collect” their work – artists can’t make a living off your kleptomania. If you want to collect art, buy what you love, let some artists pay their bills, and don’t follow any celebrity trends, because unlike celebrity, art lasts. * Jon Alain Guzik is a writer, journalist, digital artist and owner of pawn Shop Media, a Los Angeles-based production company.
Barrio del Bizarrio 1995
OG stickerIf you’ve had any baffling encounters with the late Princess Bride cult hero and WWF champion obey giant, here’s the explanation. More than 400,000 of these stickers have been distributed over the last few years, ending up on skateboards, bumpers, tip jars, computers, and school desks everywhere. The phenomenon can be traced to Shepard Fairey, the 24 year old founder of Alternative Graphics in Providence, Rhode Island. Why? The stickers exist solely to provoke a reaction.
Warp magazine 1994
You probably haven’t seen obey giant lately, since the former WWF champion died last year, but de does have a posse -and it’s growing. Over 350,000 Andre stickers are out there somewhere, splattered on your cit’s subway cars and school desks, on your favorite band amplifiers and drum kits, on your mom’s car bumper and the nighborhood postal box. It all proves you can’t keep a good man down, especially when he’s seven-feet, four-inches, and weights 520 pounds.
The vast Andre network can be traced to one quiet, unassuming graphic designer -Shepard Fairey, founder of Alternate Graphics (AG natch) in Providence RI, who’s turned a cottage-industry prank into a triving business. Fairey 24, started making the Andre stickers over five years ago, and has recently turned his subversive talents to skateboard manufacturing and filmmaking. He’ll soon finish Attention Deficiency Disorder. which he’s working on with the ex-pro skateboarder Blaze Blouin. Fairey loves the response the stickers receive. “It can be a negative or a positive reaction,” he says, “as long as it’s a reaction.”
– Mark Woodlief
June 15, 1997
ANDRE THE ICON
ExclamationAsk Shepard Fairey why he has dedicated himself to spreading the image of Andre the Giant the late, humongous professional wrestler and the 27 year old San Diego artist replies with a Dads rim shott “Hes really ugly. Plus, he’s dead Whatever the reason, Andre iconographers are at work from New York to Los Angeles, slapping posters and stickers of the brooding hulk’s face on public walls, apparently as an absurdist swipe at society’s worship of corporate logos. Fairey, who started the craze, has caught flak for his efforts – he has been jailed in five cities for vandalism but says the work must go on. Meanwhile, he is about, to enjoy a burst of fame: as the subject of a short film, “obey giant Has a Posse,” which will be screened later this month at MOMA.
LA Darfur Observance
In Darfur, Sudan 450,000 are dead. 3 Million are misplaced. 3.5 Million are dependent on food aid.
Day Reception and Art Show
May 18th, 2007, 7-10pm
Bradley Tower in LA City Hall
Art and Music by Shepard Fairey
For tickets and show info visit www.hopeartists.org
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In the past few months there have been some rumors about how Shepard disrespected Banksy and pasted over his piece in Los Angeles. We thought people would get that something was worked out between the two artist since Banksy is very well respected in our camp, the fact that Banksy and Shepard are friends, and that Banksy was featured in SWINDLE in which Shepard interviewed Banksy personally…. But I guess some people could not put two and two together… Here is Shepard short but sweet response:
The Banksy accusation is retarded. Banksy is a good friend. On the reverse side of that building was a huge 25×15 foot piece of mine. My friend owns that building and we put up the smaller Banksy image on the other side for him. When Banksy’s LA show was coming up, I traded my larger wall for his smaller wall to give him a better spot. Do you really think I would go over Banksy in a malicious way. He got the best end of that deal.
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Since I know that people don’t pay close attention to things and tend to jump to conclusions, I’m going to give a preventative explanation of the new print. No, even though I often make jokes about Obey Giant’s world domination, I’m not saying that Obey Giant is committing a HOSTILE TAKEOVER or creating a NEW WORLD ORDER. If you look at the eye on the hand, it is framed by a round American flag banner. The piece is a comment on U.S. economic and cultural imperialism. The image is part of the negative side of a piece called “Two Sides Of Capitalism”. There actually is a positive side. Stay tuned for more.
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