Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Political Posters

Shepard Fairey is a graphic designer who has produced a series of posters for Barack Obama. Fairey holds a BA in Illustration from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), which he received in 1992. Fairey comes out of the skateboarding scene, and initially became known for his André the Giant Has a Posse sticker campaign. Fairey markets his work through his online company Obey Giant, where he sells posters, stickers, clothing, and other assorted goodies.

Fairey's Obama posters have been particularly hot items as of late. Of course, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and these posters have been widely imitated; or, to be more accurate, widely satirized, as we will soon see below.

Fairey's graphic style is heavily influenced by Russian and other communist propaganda posters of the early to mid-twentieth century. Of course, the fact that the Obama posters resemble popular images of Vladimir Lenin and Che Guevara is of no concern to most folks on the left-- for many, these guys are their heroes! That being said, these posters make a strong visual statement, then and now.

Another groovy poster, by the artist known as The Mac.

This image of Hillary Clinton leans more towards the Chinese poster influence. Some of the Obama posters are picking up on this look as well.

With a heavy dose of irony, Bill Gates is even portrayed in this manner.

Of course, there are those on the right that can't resist having some fun with all of this. Talk about being thrown a softball!

I looked for some McCain posters-- I couldn't even find any. I think that the Republicans have gone into hibernation. One would assume that once the campaign gets into high gear, we will be seeing some McCain posters, although I would be willing to bet that they will not look like the posters we have been looking at-- look for an American flag motif, etc. Then again, to those on the far right, McCain might just as well be running as a Democrat, so who knows!

In case you have been wondering who I am supporting for president, I'm voting for Clinton. No, not Hillary, George Clinton!

(image created by yours truly)

So, come this fall, don't forget to vote. Or not.


Noe said...

Hello Rick,

I like the tone of these posters. I must ask if pertinent: what kind of paint is used to create these colorful posters?

I would have to guess with all my expertise that the winning number would win a jackpot at...Designer's Gouache paint. I know some artist whose work is demonstrated in Turkey who coninsidentally use this type of High Art media. It is soo much fun to work with. Good selections I still enjoy reading your art blog. How are your finals and your grading, and your attendance calculations going?


RJ said...

Hi Noe--

Fairey's posters would appear to be have created on a computer-- I'm guessing Adobe Illustrator. At any rate, it looks like vector art. Years ago, gouache would probably have been the medium of choice for painting flat graphic art, but now the computer is a lot better. You can get totally flat colors, and can easily experiment with and/or modify the colors.

The Mac's poster is done with ink and brush-- see his website for details (link provided-- just click on his name).

School is almost over for the summer. It's been a really good year, but I am ready for a break!

Glad you enjoyed this post and continue to read my blog.

USpace said...

Excellent post! Great posters, fabulous!
I would dearly love to see a Jewish, African-American woman as POTUS. It's not race or gender that makes it for me though. It's political beliefs that matter, and socialism is bad for everybody, (accept those high in government or high-level academia) especially poor people, of all races. Obama is a dyed-in-the-wool Marxist, no thanks.

His 'Change', 'Hope' and 'Progress' mantras are actually somewhat self-mocking. Making your own Obama posters is totally addicting.
I laughed so hard I almost had a breakdown. LOL!

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
befriend a bomber

pushing for change at all costs
sacrifices must be made

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
only feel and hope

please force people to change
change can only be good

Make Some Obama Posters NOW!
Appeasement Talk Bothers Appeasers
Help Halt Terrorism Now!


RJ said...

Uspsace-- thanks, glad you enjoyed the post. Hey, don't forget-- according to Hillary, She is part Jewish; additionally, Maya Angelou called Bill "the first black president" (although, come to think of it, didn't she retract that comment recently?)-- that could be construed to give her a certain level of "street cred" on that account as well (assuming that one ignores said retraction).

I have said from the beginning that the "Change" slogan reminds me of nothing so much as slogans coming from speeches by candidates for student council president back when I was in junior high school.

Thanks for the great comment!


USpace said...

Hi Rick,
You're very welcome, thank you for that amazing post; and yes, great link suggestion of course, it's in, and you be linked in the library.

Your post has amazing posters, Democrat and Communist posters looking so much alike. The mocking posters are great too. It would be interesting to see more GOP posters as a comparison.

In general, more artists should make more posters about freedom and liberty. Classical Liberal posters.

You're correct, Obama's slogans are like HS campaigns for student president.

absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
LOVE communism

the only right you have
be part of the collective

All real freedom starts with freedom of speech. If there is no freedom of speech, then there can be no real freedom.
Philosophy of Liberty Cartoon


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Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
RJ said...

NOTE: The above post was eliminated because it was spam. I don't delete comments from people that might disagree with me regarding what I have to say on my blog.

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