graffitiweek: shepard fairey

1Another street artist that was featured in the film Exit Through the Gift Shop was Shepard Fairey. I have come across his OBEY work before but today’s post are my recent findings. The picture taken in Austin was found in an alley (shocking, I know!). The picture above is a detailed shot from this picture (it’s located on the lower left hand side):2I love the repetition of the image in red surrounding the woman at the top. Here’s a detailed shot:3In Boston, this is a zoomed out view of where I found his work:4I thought Fairey’s Manifesto was really interesting (taken from his website):

The OBEY sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as “the process of letting things manifest themselves.” Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation.

The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one’s environment. The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer’s perception and attention to detail. The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because OBEY has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities.

While this is pertaining to his OBEY sticker, I personally related most to the definition of Phenomenology. Encouraging people to see something that’s right in front of them, things that are usually taken for granted. That is one of my closing statements in my speaking engagements. I just never knew it had a name! Now I just need to figure out how to pronounce it!



Side note: Thanks Sam Roberts for bringing this to my attention. This is Shepard Fairey’s collaboration with Collosal Media for for Dewar’s Whiskey.


4 responses to “graffitiweek: shepard fairey

  1. On, and see They Live! or A Pervert’s Guide to Ideology to see the root source of the OBEY font and treatment. A Pervert’s Guide . . . Is especially good.

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