Shepard Fairey (Obey)

Lotus, 2013

Mixed media and collage on cardboard
Signed and dated lower right
65 1/3 x 49 3/5 inches (166 x 126 cm.)
Very Good
Private Collection
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More information about this artwork

Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer and activist. Emerging from the skateboarding scene, the artist became an international phenomenon after his 1989 ‘Andre the Giant has a Posse’ sticker campaign, which evolved into the ‘Obey Giant’ campaign and subsequently into the renowned clothing brand Obey. His art is based on idealizing images bearing social critique and displayed in public spaces in the shape of posters, stickers, murals or prints. Shepard Fairey is also famous for his 2008 iconic and controversial ‘HOPE’ portrait supporting Barack Obama’s presidential candidacy, dubbed ‘the most efficacious American political illustration since ‘Uncle Sam Wants You’’.

In typical Fairey bold and propagandistic style, Lotus draws on the Indian mandala motif and the lotus flower, a symbol of hope and purity dating back to ancient Egypt and early Buddhism. Combining black, red and golden hues, as well as geometric and organic shapes, the artist creates beauty and resolution out of chaos. At the centre of the artwork Andre the Giant’s face is worshiped, like the cult figure at the heart of the Obey phenomenon that he is.

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