Shepard Fairey Signed Prints & Originals

Biography for Shepard Fairey (Born 1970)

Shepard Fairey is the godfather of modern urban art; he was 'defacing' the streets of America a decade before Banksy's stencils appeared on London Streets. While still a student of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Shepard Fairey began his 'propaganda campaign', experimenting with 'phenomenology' (the marketing of a product that doesn't exist). Successful 'Bombing missions' have resulted in Shepard Fairey's stickers and posters, usually depicting the hulking face of the famous French wrestler from the 70's 'Andre the Giant' remaining plastered over inaccessible walls throughout the world today.

Shepard Fairey, sometimes known as 'Obey' which is a slogan he uses on the 'Andre the Giant' stencils, began revolutionizing street art in the late 1980's. Creating "Andre the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign amongst the skaterboy crowd in South Carolina, interest soon grew and Shepherd Fairey used the stark black and white Andre images to undermine a couple of prominent ad campaigns. Later evolving the campaign into "Obey Giant". Lance Armstrong

In 2003 Shepard Fairy founded the Studio Number One design agency with his wife Amanda Fairey. The agency produced the cover work for the Black Eyed Peas' album 'Monkey Business' and the poster for the film 'Walk the Line'. Shepard Fairey has also designed the covers for The Smashing Pumpkins' album 'Zeitgeist', "The cover is predominantly red", says Shepard Fairey, "because the colour gets people's attention and evokes a sense of foreboding. I think global warming is an issue that is currently relevant, time sensitive, and a symptom of the shortsightedness of the U.S. As a broader metaphor, the drowning Statue of Liberty, a revered icon of the U.S., symbolizes the eminent demise of many of the ideals upon which the nation was founded. Civil liberties, freedom of speech, privacy, etc. have been decreasing since 9/11. The sun in the image could either be setting or rising and this ambiguity shows that there is still hope to turn things around."

In 2004, Shepard Fairey joined artists Robbie Conal and Mear One to create a series of "anti-war, anti-Bush" posters for a street art campaign called "Be the Revolution" for the art collective "Post Gen". 'One Hell o a Leader' is a fine example of the 2004 silkscreen prints, edition size of 350, signed lower right Shepard Fairey . "Be the Revolution" kicked off with a night of performances featuring Z-Trip, Ozomatli and David J at the Avalon in Hollywood. Shepard Fairey also co-founded Swindle Magazine along with Roger Gastman, where in an interview with Banksy, Banksy admits that Shepard Fairey is his greatest inspiration as a street artist.

2005 saw Shepard Fairey collaborate for a second time with Z-Trip on a limited edition 12-inch featuring Chuck D entitled "Shock and Awe." This too Featured Shepard Fairey's 2004 "One Hell of a Leader" image as cover art. The front and back cover show some interesting details of actual events and some graphic references to the Public Enemy catalogue. This same year Shepard Fairey also collaborated with DJ Shadow on a box set, with t-shirts, stickers, prints, and a mix CD by Shadow and contributed the artwork for the posters, cover art, and graphics for the biopic of Johnny Cash, 'Walk the Line'.

In 2006, Shepard Fairey contributed eight vinyl etchings to a limited-edition series of 12" singles by post-punk band Mission of Burma. Shepard Fairey has also done work for the musical group Interpol.

Shepard Fairy's love of music extends to his involvement as s DJ, spinning punk discs at a club in LA. His moniker being DJ Diabetic and Emcee Insulin, a reference to the condition that has, at times left him temporary blind.

In 2007 Shepard Fairey opened his one man show entitled "E Pluribus Venom", The title 'E Pluribus Venom' which translates "Out of many, poison" is derived from "E Pluribus Unum" (out of many, one) an early motto adopted by the U.S. Government which appears on U.S. coins and dollar bills. In the opinion of Shepard Fairey, many becoming one, or a loss of power and influence of the individual in favour of homogeny is a symptom of a society in decline. "E Pluribus Venom" could be interpreted as saying both that there is poison in the American system and that many individuals are motivated by venom and anger toward this system. "Pluribus Venom" is comprised of artworks designed to question the symbols and methods of the American machine and American dream and also celebrate those who oppose blind nationalism and war. Some of Shepard Fairey's works use currency motifs or a Norman Rockwell aesthetic to employ the graphic language of the subjects they critique. Other works use a blend of Art Nouveau, hippie, and revolutionary propaganda styles to celebrate subjects advocating peace. The art addresses monolithic institutional power and authority and the role of counter culture and independent individuals to question the dominant paradigm. Shepard Fairey's more recent body of work contains politically-charged paint, screen print, stencil, and collage mixed media pieces which use metaphor, humour, and seductive decorative elements to deliver provocative but beautiful results. These works blur the perceived barriers between propaganda and escapist decoration, political responsibility and humour with the intent of stimulating both viscerally and intellectually.

Captivating images from the 2007 "E Pluribus Venom" exhibition include the powerful prints: 'Revolutionary Woman with Brush', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'War by Numbers', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'War by Numbers Red', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Peace Mujer', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Mujer Fatal', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Peace Goddess', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Hostile Takeover Red', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Hostile Takeover Black' Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Arab Woman Gold', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Peace Goddess Red', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Peace Goddess Gold', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Peace Tree', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Presidential Seal Black', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Presidential Seal Red', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Savage Posse 2', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Rose Shackle', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'This Machine Kills Fascists', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'War for Sale Red' Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'War for Sale Cream' Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'World Police State Champs Gold', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'World Police State Champs Silver', Silkscreen on Paper, Edition of 300, signed lower right Shepard Fairey.

Shepard Fairy's status as a 'World famous artist' came to prominence in 2008 when his iconic image of Barack Obama was emblazoned on the cover of Time Magazine. Shepard Fairey created a series of posters supporting Barack Obama's Presidential election campaign. The "HOPE" portrait heralded as "the most efficacious American political illustration since 'Uncle Sam Wants You'. "HOPE" the screenprint, released in 2008 is signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. The original version for the poster featured the word "PROGRESS" but within weeks of its release, the campaign requested that he issue a new version, keeping the powerful image of Obama's face but captioning it with the word "HOPE". The campaign openly embraced the revised poster along with two additional Shepard Fairey posters that featured the words "CHANGE" and "VOTE". The screenprint 'Obama Progress', edition size 400 is signed bottom right Shepard Fairey.

In February 2008, Shepard Fairey received a letter of thanks from Obama for his contribution to the campaign. The letter stated:

I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can change the status-quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign. I am privileged to be a part of your artwork and proud to have your support. - Barack Obama, February 22, 2008.

Before working on the Obama prints Shepard Fairey produced some exceptionally powerful images of other great American black icons such as the 1960's activist Angela Davis in: 'Panther Power', 2007 screenprint, edition of 350, signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. 'Panther Power', 2007 silkscreen print and mixed media on wood, edition of 2, signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. And 'Afrocentric' (Red), 2007 screenprint, edition size 350, signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. 'Afrocentric' (Black), 2007 screenprint, edition size 350, signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. The great American Boxer Mohammed Ali in: 'Mohammed Ali', 2006 screenprint, edition size 350, signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. Legendry Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix in: 'Jimi Hendrix', screenprint, edition size 300, signed bottom right Shepard Fairey. Basketball legend Michael Jordon in the 'Shepard Fairey x Michael Jordon poster series'. This set of three signed prints was published in varying edition sizes: 'Jordon UNC', silk screenprint, edition of 50, signed by Jordon and Shepard Fairey. 'BULLS', silk screenprint, edition of 50, signed by Jordon and Shepard Fairey. 'Hall of Fame Portrait Prints', silk screenprint, edition of 50, signed by Jordon and Shepard Fairey. 'Jordon UNC', screenprint, edition of 123, signed Shepard Fairey. 'BULLS', screenprint, edition of 123, signed by Shepard Fairey. 'Hall of Fame Portrait Prints', screenprint, edition of 123, signed by Shepard Fairey.

Revolutionary figures are prominent throughout Shepard Fairey's oeuvre; 'Revolution Women', 2005 screenprint, edition size of 50, signed lower right Shepard Fairey and 'Zapatista' is a favorite. The term originally referred to the revolutionary guerrilla movement started by Emiliano Zapata around 1910, and his followers, who were called "Zapatistas." Throughout the years, Shepard Fairey has done many prints dealing with Zapatistas. For example: 'Zapatista', 2005 screenprint, edition size of 50, signed bottom right Sheppard Fairey. The Zapatistas to whom Shepard refers in his work are part of the new movement in Mexico, which began in 1994 and was lead by Subcomandante Marcos. Modern Zapatistas are fighting against the Mexican government because of years of unfair treatment of the people of Chiapas. Proceeds from Shepard Fairy's prints of the Zapatistas often go to their cause.

Shepard Fairey often gives away the proceeds to the causes his works are inspired by. An example of this being Shepard Fairey donating the original cover art to the 2008 album 'Body of War: Songs that inspired an Iraq War Veteran', produced for the Iraq War documentary 'Body of War'. Proceeds from the album benefit non-profit organization Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Shepard Fairey was arrested in February 2009, on his way to the premiere of his show at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, Massachusetts, on two outstanding warrants related to graffiti. He was charged with damage to property for having postered two Boston area locations with graffiti. His arrest was announced to party goers by long time friend Z-Trip who had been performing at the ICA premiere at Shepard Fairey's request.

2009 also saw the release of the very popular OBEY signed prints 'Soup Can'. The four signed silkscreen prints are Shepard Fairey's interpretation of Warhol's iconic Soup Can Images. 'Soup Can', hand printed silkscreen and pencil on manila acid free archival paper, edition size 200, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Soup Can II', hand printed silkscreen and pencil on manila acid free archival paper, edition size 200, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Soup Can III', hand printed silkscreen and pencil on manila acid free archival paper, edition size 200, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. 'Soup Can IV', hand printed silkscreen and pencil on manila acid free archival paper, edition size 200, signed lower right Shepard Fairey. These signed prints were produced in conjunction with Shepard Fairey's 'Beautiful Losers Exhibition'.

In the spring of 2009 Lance Armstrong rode a Trek Madone styled by Shepard Fairey in the Giro d'Italia in Venice, Italy.

In 2011 Shepard Fairey released a series of screenprints showing some of his favourite street spots from over the years, each depicting an image of 'Andre the Giant' they are: 'SD BILLBOARD' screenprint, edition size 450, signed Shepard Fairey. 'SF FIRE ESCAPE' screenprint, edition size 450, signed Shepard Fairey. 'SUNSET AND VINE BILLBOARD', screenprint, edition size of 450, signed Shepard Fairey. 'BERLIN TOWER', screenprint, edition size 450. And 'BAYSHORE BILLBOARD', screenprint, edition size 450, signed Shepard Fairey.

Working for graphic design companies to pay the bills, Shepard Fairey is conscious of walking a fine line between art and commerce. Shepard Fairy says: "'I couldn't have made it as an artist unless I worked for companies. Graphic design was how I paid my bills so I could screen-print my own posters." Much of the criticism he receives is born out of jealousy: Fairey's ability to make money (much of which he donates to charitable causes associated with his imagery ), and his distinctive style, with its roots in - among other things - Russian Futurism, Chinese revolutionary art and Norman Rockwell, makes much graffiti look like schoolboy doodles.

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