18 May 2008

Mao, Che ... Barack?

Regular readers will know that I am interested in the ways art and graphics and politics intersect. I've posted here and here and here and here, for instance, on political graphics. Such graphics raise all sorts of interesting issues about, say, how communication and information and symbolism and propaganda converge and diverge. Here is an interesting story from The Washington Post on Shepard Fairey who designed the prominent Obama campaign posters.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry, Jim, but I've gotta chime in here--Shepard Fairey has about as much 'cred' as Dick Cheney, streetart-wise! For the full story, have a look at this great blog post by Mark Vallen (who has an awful lot of cred himself):
of mine once said, "Shepard Fairey is the WalMart of stencil art."

-Beth Wilson

18 May, 2008 11:21  
Blogger Jim Johnson said...


Perhaps I created the wrong impression. I actually do not much like the Obama poster. I don't know Fairey's other work, but here is what I said about the Obama poster in one of the earlier posts to which I linked in this one:

"The question is whether such graphics have much effect on perceptions or attention. I do know that the ones I like (nos. 1,2,4) are dissenting and oppositional, while the Obama poster is not just "affirmative" but suspiciously diffuse (as are the others that Heller offers as examples - in my view they each fall flat). I know what the other three are after, This mantra of hope makes me want to put my hand over my wallet to make sure my pocket is not being picked."

The Posters I was comparing this Obama poster to in the earlier post are by Ben Sahn, Andy Warhol and Richard Serra.

18 May, 2008 14:54  

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