In this corner, weighing in at 163 lbs, five feet, ten inches tall, we have Shepard Fairey. World Heavyweight Champion Propagandist, arch manipulator, scoundrel, chief propagandist, provocateur, Shepard Fairey is the man many hail as the originator of the modern urban art scene and is an undeniable phenomenon. First coming to prominence in 1989 with his now ubiquitous ‘Obey Giant’ sticker campaign, the self styled phenomenologist has since gone on to become one of the most recognisable artists of the early 2000’s.
His work, a mixture of parody and protest, serves to subvert the very medium to which it attaches itself. Wall paper posters adorn advertising billboards that in his own words ‘market nothingness’ while large scale posters with the simple one word message ‘obey’ stir the bewildered masses.
His unique use of stencils, collage, photography and painting have led to collaborations with among others, DJ Shadow, Interpol, Smashing Pumpkins and more recently the poster art for the Johnny Cash biopic, ‘Walk the Line’.