have you ever seen Obey? i think it was the ica museum in boston who was selling obey tshirts and all, and from that moment on, i have seen obey at many places. every time i think; "ah, obey". it reminds me of communism propaganda, but i didnt look into it.... although it always made me wonder "now what is this? who is that? and.... why?" luckily, there is the internet to tell me everything and now im looking at pictures and reading about fairey since almost an hour (i wanted to go to sleep, actually!)
well, obey has been around since 1989, and is a creation of shepard fairey. originally an image of andre the giant (a french professional wrestler and actor) that fairey eventually altered stylistically and semantically into the obey giant. he created it at the rhode island school of design, in providence (it has a nice museum that we visited a few months ago!). it got distributed by the "skater community" and started to show up in many cities, all across the USA, and eventually the world. but why? at that time Fairey declared the campaign to be "an experiment in phenomenology". and directly stolen from wikipedia: "it is intended to inspire curiosity and cause the masses to question their relationship with their surroundings".
in fact, i discovered fairey made a lot of very interesting posters. look at this one for example! exactly how i feel about american cops.... or america's finest cop. as the ICA writes on their website when they displayed his first solo exhibition: "The content of Fairey's work is a call to action about hierarchies and abuses of power, politics and the commodification of culture" yup, i agree!
and look, also this famous hope poster of obama is his!