How Shepard Fairey Thinks About Politics And Art

His "Hope" portrait helped transform Barack Obama's 2008 campaign. This is what Shepard Fairey told Brut about creating iconic street art.

Obey Here First

Shepard Fairey is an artist is an American contemporary street artist from Los Angeles. He’s also a graphic designer, activist, illustrator, and founder of OBEY Clothing who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his "Andre the Giant Has a Posse – OBEY” sticker campaign while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. It was at this time he found an interest in graffiti, street art and primarily sticker art. What started as a political snarky design utilizing a photo of wrestler Andre The Giant, really gave birth to a branding machine that later transformed into the OBEY brand. He doesn’t want to answer to anyone, he just wants to do what inflates his ego.

You may have seen Shepard Fairey's work. The “Hope” poster for Obama. He became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barack Obama "Hope" poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston has described him as one of the best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Fairey met French president Emmanuel Macron in 2019. When he found out that Macron has the Marianne piece of his in his office, I was happy because I thought maybe that is a sign that he understands where I’m coming from, socially and politically, in my work. That at least he’s aware of my work. That piece was created as a show of solidarity with French people after the terror attacks in 2015. And it’s more a piece for the people than for any one politician. In 2019, his 100th piece appeared in Paris. Today, those ideas are his sources of inspiration.


06/29/2019 12:00 PM
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  • Korey C.
    06/29/2019 12:15

    Bro... shut uuuuup

  • Brian S.
    06/30/2019 18:36

    Another crazy 'artist'

  • Shelton G.
    07/01/2019 10:33

    Dude, you are a pansy ass snowflake just like the French!

  • Brut
    07/01/2019 13:59

    "Each one individual who might be frustrated with how things are going has very little power by themselves, but we all have power through democracy in numbers," Fairey said. "So participation in elections and using every tool we have engage civically is the only way to overcome traits of power."

  • Alex S.
    07/05/2019 23:25

    Why this trash on my timeline? Go somewhere with that salty shit😂

  • Jordan B.
    07/06/2019 20:47

    His dad's name is "Strait Fairey"

  • Nate P.
    07/07/2019 10:45

    I threw my Obama hope poster in the trash but he does have some dope ass art!

  • David I.
    07/11/2019 21:04


  • J.J. P.
    07/12/2019 01:26

    Draws portrait of a traitor makes fun of a patriot , check he is a scumbag.

  • David R.
    6 days

    Another example of how all of the people from the great state of South Carolina aren’t as moronic and spineless as Lindsy Graham. Remember that even the worst states have Great people in them. Never judge a state by their fools who rule.

  • Justin A.
    5 days

    I love your art but you glorify a piece saying Obey then make a piece about Trump being a dictator....and you say that you want uninformed none voters to steer this country....fucking tragic.

  • Donald B.
    a day

    I wish this man would go back where he came from . Why am I seeing this on my time line .

  • Mike P.
    16 hours

    Lmao look at the Trumptards commenting. They don't like it when you badmouth their Führer! Pussies😆