Shepard Fairey Biography

By | December 2, 2017

Shepard Fairey was born February 15, 1970 in Charleston, South Carolina. At age 14 Shepard Fairey started getting interested in street art, putting his drawings on skateboards and t-shirts. He decided to continue in the arts and eventually received the title of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992.

Shepard Fairey first received huge attention with his “André the Giant has a Posse” sticker campaign in 1989 when he was still attending the Rhode Island School of Design. Later on he started building his own brand name called the “Obey Giant” which today is still the title of his website.

His degree in illustration led Shepard to a career in graphic design. He founded Alternate Graphics, a small printing business that specialized in t-shirt and sticker silkscreens. At the same time he kept up with the urban scene by being a DJ in several night clubs under the name DJ Diabetic. In 1994 filmmaker Helen Stickler, a friend of Shepard Fairey, created a short documentary on Shepard and his work. The film which was called “Andre the Giant has a Posse” premieren at the New York Underground Film Festival in 1995 and went on to play at more than 70 museums and festivals worldwide.

It was in 2008 that Shepard Fairey gained fame with the large public when he created, illegitimately, the Obama Hope poster in red and blue colors. While this was not official promotion, Shepard Fairey claims that the Obama campaign did contact him to change the word PROGRESS, which was originally on the poster, to the word HOPE. Whilst they could not officially acknowledge the poster even there the campaign officials tries to make the most out of every initiative.

Since then everything has gone steep uphill for Fairey. He now displays in many museums of contemporary art and sells out his limited edition prints within minutes.

Bruno Dillen is the owner and creator of Artinthepicture.com, an art history site. You can find Shepard Fairey prints at his website.

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