Shepard Fairey (b. 1970, Charleston, South Carolina, U.S.) received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1989, he created the Andre the Giant has a Posse sticker that transformed into the OBEY GIANT art campaign, with imagery that has changed the way people see art and the urban landscape. After 30 years, his work has evolved into an acclaimed body of art, which includes Hope (2008), a portrait of Barack Obama, found at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. In 2017, the artist collaborated with Amplifier to create the We The People Series, which was recognizable during the Women’s Marches and other rallies around the world in defense of national and global social justice issues.
Fairey’s stickers, guerilla street art presence and public murals are recognizable worldwide. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York; the Victoria and Albert Museum in London; the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among many others.
In 2019, Fairey launched and toured Facing the Giant: 3 Decades of Dissent, a global exhibition and series of murals culminating with the 100th large-scale painted mural. Facing the Giant is a curated series of images chosen for their importance aesthetically and conceptually, and for addressing critical topics and themes frequently recurring throughout Fairey’s career. This selection of works touches on phenomenology, self-empowerment, rebellion, abuse of power, environmental destruction, racism, gender equality, xenophobia, campaign finance reform, the military industrial complex, propaganda, war and peace and economic imperialism. Since October 2019, Fairey has painted several more murals, counting more than 105 painted worldwide.
Shepard Fairey. Courtesy of Shepard Fairey / ObeyGiant.com.