Shepard Fairey (born 1970 in Charleston, USA) is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer activist and illustrator who emerged from the skateboarding scene.
He received his B.F.A. in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. While at R.I.S.D. 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.
In 2008 his portrait of the then Democratic candidate, Barack Obama, with the message of ‘HOPE’ under the illustration, became an internationally recognized emblem of the campaign and a symbol of political change for many. In 2009 Fairey’s Obama portrait was inducted into the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery as the official presidential portrait.
He has designed covers for magazines such as Time, Rolling Stone, and Esquire and continues to design album covers for a number of musicians and bands including Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Henry Rollins, and Gaslamp Killer.
Since the beginning of his career in 1989, he has exhibited in galleries and museums around the world, such as: the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Mass.; the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Penn.; Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.
His works are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Boston Institute of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), and many others.
photo: Chris Sembrot