Shepard Fairey

Charleston, SC

Shepard Fairey is a street artist, graphic designer, social activist, and founder of the OBEY clothing line. He is one of the most influential contributors to the street art movement.

While a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Fairey launched his Andre the Giant has a Posse sticker campaign in 1989, which later evolved into OBEY Giant. In 2003 founded the Studio Number One agency with his wife, Amanda. The firm designed covers for numerous artists, including The Black-Eyed Peas, Led Zeppelin, and Smashing Pumpkins. In 2006, Fairey joined NYC-based ad agency Project 2050 as founding Creative Director and was featured on the cover of Advertising Age magazine.

Time Magazine commissioned Fairey to design two of its Person of the Year covers – one to honor “The Protester” and his first being Barack Obama in 2008. The artist is perhaps best known for his Hope campaign, which portrays a red, white, and blue portrait of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama. In 2017, the artist created his We the People series of three posters— featuring portraits of culturally diverse women in red, white, and blue – to protest Donald Trump and promote inclusion.

Fairey blurs the boundaries between traditional and commercial art, his bold images, intricate designs and frequent use of the colors red and black making his work instantly recognizable. He continues communicating his brand of social critique via prints, murals, stickers, and posters in public spaces. His works are included in the collections of the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, SF MOMA, NYC MOMA, the US National Portrait Gallery, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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