Shepard Fairey is among the most influential street artists and illustrators of our time. Working across a wide range of media – screen prints, sculptures, stickers, and paintings – he combines art with political statements.
In 2008, Fairey gained global fame with an iconic portrait of Barack Obama used throughout the presidential election. For Donald Trump’s inauguration, Fairey voiced his criticism in the form of three portraits in a similar vein, but this time featuring the faces of diverse American women. His polarizing work moves between graffiti, illustration, and Pop Art. It contains influences from the advertising industry and references to propaganda art.
Shepard Fairey’s artistic career first began in the late 90s, when he created a silkscreen of wrestler André the Giant. The fierce face spread like wildfire throughout the skater scene in the form of a sticker, which the young artist plastered over a local election poster. This then developed into his famous OBEY Giant campaign, which grew into an international network. The original design crystallized in a wide variety of forms.
Regarding his work, the artist says: “I've had people ranging from anarchists to the president of the National Reserve Bank embrace my work and I think the more diverse the audience is, the more potential for interesting dialogue there is.”
Shepard Fairey was born in 1970 in Charleston, South Carolina. He studied at the notable Idyllwild Arts Academy in Palm Springs as well as the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. His work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions all around the planet. His portrait, HOPE, received the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award. Fairey currently lives and works in Los Angeles.