Shepard Fairey

Shepard Fairey

Biography

Information

Bio

Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary artist who emerged from the skateboarding scene in the late 1980s. He first gained notoriety through his Andre the Giant Has a Posse sticker campaign, but a legal threat forced the redesign, resulting in the iconic OBEY Giant design and slogan. The design’s subsequent success sparked a fashion line in 2001, OBEY Clothing, while Fairey’s other art and design projects grew legs of their own, with his Barack Obama “Hope” poster propelling him into the mainstream during the 2008 U.S Presidential elections.

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1989

Fairey creates the Andre the Giant Has a Posse sticker campaign with the aim of gaining fame amongst his art school peers and skateboarding friends.

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1990

Andre the Giant Has a Posse stickers are appearing all over the world while Fairey writes his OBEY manifesto.

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1994

Titan Sports Inc. (better known as WWE) threatened legal action over the Andre the Giant trademark, forcing Fairey to recreate the illustration and borrowing the now iconic OBEY slogan from John Carpenter’s 1988 They Live.

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1997

Fairey creates guerilla marketing firm BLK/MRKT which boasts clients like Pepsi and Hasbro.

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2001

Fairey launches OBEY Clothing line, which over its lifetime has collaborated with street artists like Cope2 and Keith Haring and streetwear giants HUF and Levi’s among others.

 

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2003

Fairey creates Studio Number One design agency with wife Amanda. The agency creates well known works like Smashing Pumpkin’s Zeitgeist album cover and the poster for Johnny Cash biopic Walk The Line.

 

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2008

Fairey designs the iconic HOPE poster during Barack Obama’s President election campaign. The stylised stencil portrait of Obama was distributed in stickers and posters manufactured solely through profits earned from the design.

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2009

The Peace Corps commission Fairey to commemorate their 50th anniversary with a unique design print.

On the way to the premiere of his show at the Institution of Contemporary Art Fairey is arrested on warrants related to graffiti and charge for damage to property from his poster campaigns.

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2011

Time Magazine commission Fairey to design the cover for Person of the Year, honouring ‘The Protestor’ in the wake of the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street movements.

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2017

HULU premieres Obey Giant documentary tracing the artist’s history and work.

 

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Born

February 15, 1970

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Based

Los Feliz, Los Angeles, CA

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Where can I buy Shepard Fairey’s art?

As well as getting your hands on some of Fairey’s work through OBEY Clothing, you can cop a print from Fairey’s website. On obeygiant.com the artist maintains an extensive archive of work, as well as information on upcoming exhibitions, collaborations and products.

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