Shepard Fairey Biography

Posted by Edward Kurstak on

Shepard Fairey’s artwork encompasses graphic design, illustration, pop art and street art, with a heavy emphasis on social activism and societal critique. Fairey is perhaps best known for his “Hope” campaign, a series of posters that portray then-presidential candidate Barack Obama in a portrait setting in an iconic vector-graphic style featuring red, beige and multiple shades of blue, along with the word “HOPE,” “PROGRESS,” “CHANGE.” These posters, inspired by Social Realism, were heavily reproduced during Obama’s first presidential campaign, were eventually acquired by the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery, and have been parodied and imitated countless times and with various other subjects in the decade since their first appearance.

Prior to gaining fame and renown for the “Hope” campaign, Fairey attended the Rhode Island School of Design where he was active in the area’s skateboarding culture. While attending school in the the early 1990s, Fairey created his first major artwork with “Obey,” a sticker campaign toward his friends and peers that garnered public attention and eventually led to creative spin-offs including an apparel line that is known for incorporating political propaganda messages into its production—a tactic Fairey labels as “manufacturing dissent.”

Along with other street artists such as Banksy, Fairey’s work blurs the dividing lines between commercial and traditional art in the manner of its delivery: mass-produced prints, T-shirts, stickers and more, and artwork created for public spaces such as posters and murals. Along with appearing in public spaces, Fairey’s work has also been adopted into the collections of the Smithsonian, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and other renowned institutions.

In Edward Kurstak’s collection of Shepard Fairey art for sale, you will find numerous items from Fairey’s catalog including serigraphs, silkscreens and other media in excellent condition available for purchase. Contact us to learn more about how you can begin acquiring pieces from this renowned artist’s oeuvre for your personal collection.