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I'd love if this forum was all about if Shepard Fairey is a sellout.
October 17, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

The Art of Politics. The 2008 election, regardless of the winner, has created opportunities for so many new stakeholders to take part in our national dialogue and be heard be seen. With only weeks left, let us pause to gaze upon the mainstream embrace of political street art. At least we have Bush to thank for something.
posted by MiltonRandKalman (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
"At least we have Bush to thank for something."

GYOB
posted by MarshallPoe at 10:16 AM on October 17, 2008


I was just going to mention that Obey Giant image the other day. Am I crazy, or has almost no one (in the political punditry, I mean) commented on the clear socialist imagery of the design (and others)? Not that I'm complaining about that imagery. It just seems odd that the Right hasn't latched onto an "he's an Hugo Chavez-type socialist demogogue" message. Maybe they are afraid of how much more popular that frame would make him...
posted by DU at 10:17 AM on October 17, 2008


Oh. He's the guy that did Andre the Giant has a posse. I can't believe I didn't connect that before.
posted by lunit at 10:21 AM on October 17, 2008


Maybe they are afraid of how much more popular that frame would make him...

Concur, and they would have had a field day with this.

GYOB


I am always confused by this callout. Those last links were to emphasize the relation of Bush's legacy to the explosive proliferation of street art and it validation of protest graffiti as a acceptable political message.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:43 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fairey put up two new murals in DC just this week (and I made a bumper sticker).
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:18 AM on October 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't this kind of ass-backwards, though? Fairey coopted the graphics of propaganda -- by definition a mainstream art style -- as a way to parody mindless politics and consumerism. Now he and other street artists have come full circle and are embracing a sincere use of propaganda. I'm mostly a fan of the work, but I'm just not sure what's subversive or not-mainstream about Shepard's Obama posters and the like. If anything's new about it, it's that there are now more attractive graphics on the same old political posters.

Now the stuff like the Mr. Brain piece is more subversive -- and hilarious -- but it comes from a well-established tradition of political parody. I'm not sure that the "street art" element -- the fact that it appears to be painted on a building -- has yet been embraced by the mainstream.

So far, I withhold my thanks to Bush.
posted by IcyJuly at 1:27 PM on October 17, 2008


I'm curious what happens after Obama wins. Do all the posters and murals and such stay up or will they be removed or defaced? If they stay up, won't that be kinda weird?
posted by shoepal at 2:54 PM on October 17, 2008


I'm just not sure what's subversive or not-mainstream about Shepard's Obama posters and the like

This isn't necessarily an answer to your question, but I would like to point out a distinction: When the Soviets did it, it was the state putting out propaganda. When Joe the Starving Artist adopts that style for another political candidate, but is not himself a state entity, it's not exactly the same thing.
posted by DU at 5:35 PM on October 17, 2008


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