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NYC - Brooklyn - Williamsburg: OBEY Progress

Street artist and guerrilla marketer Shepard Fairey created a series of posters supporting Barack Obama's candidacy for President in 2008, including the iconic red, white, and blue stenciled portrait. Fairey's original print, seen here, featured the boldfaced word PROGRESS. When the Obama campaign sought Fairey's contribution, he changed the words to HOPE and CHANGE so the campaign wouldn't promote an image which had been perpetuated illegally. By the end of the election, Fairey had distributed 300,000 stickers and 500,000 posters, putting all his proceeds back into grassroots campaigning and more pieces.


OBEY Giant is a street art campaign by artist and guerrilla marketer Shepard Fairey. The campaign originated with the André the Giant Has a Posse sticker that Fairey created in 1986 in Charleston, South Carolina. Distributed by the skater community, the stickers began showing up everywhere. In 1989, while a student at RISD (Rhode Island School of Design), Fairey released his manifesto and the Obey Giant campaign was born. The campaign, an "experiment in phenomenology" pushed primarily through stickers and prints, has a mission to attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the campaign and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with Obey propaganda provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail. Over time the artwork has been reused in a number of ways, most famously in with his "Hope" campaign poster for Barack Obama in the 2008 United States Presidential election.

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Taken on December 13, 2008