“Tested Performance”, 2014 screen print on paper, 106×106 cm, ed. 20/50
Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Shepard Fairey lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Bachelor of Fine Art Rhode Island School of Design in 1992.
OBEY’S MANIFESTO: MANUFACTURING QUALITY DISSENT SINCE 1989
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. Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation.
The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEWER, however, may be confused by the sticker’s persistent presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions. Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an eyesore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American society is assaulted with daily.
“ICON COLLAGE SET 3”, 2016, screenprint on paper, 97,5×76 cm, ed. 18/70
“SEDATION PILL”, 2013, Mixed Media and Collage on Paper HPM, 76x101cm., ed.5/10
“EARTH CRISIS”, 2014, screen print on paper, 61×46 cm, ed. 133/200
“BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”, 2006, screen print on paper, 61×46 cm, ed. 138/300
If you like one of them, don’t hesitate to contact the gallery, you will be surprised!