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Yes, clearly I am obsessed. And clearly, I will admit, it is derivative of the Shepard Fairey posters, in a way.

But I'll defend myself by saying, the original concept was similar to that of my Bush "Evildoer" stencil that I did in 2000, which was basically just a headshot of The Shrub, stencilized, with the word "evildoer" underneath. So I was trying to think of something similar to do, but on a positive note, that might work as both a street stencil as well as on t-shirts and as a paper print. I didn't want to use the same words Fairey used ("hope" or "progress"), or the ones that are common on Obama campaign stuff ("yes we can," etc.).

So I chose the word "believe," because, basically, I want to believe. I'm trying to believe. And I'd like to inspire others to believe. When I'm listening to Barack speak, at least for those moments I'm listening, I do believe. And when it comes down to it, I definitely believe Barack more than I believe Hillary.

This is a spray paint stencil print, a test on 11"x14" 100lb Bristol board. It's not perfect, as it was way too windy outside today to get a good, clean print. But I'll be doing more on a warmer, less windy day. And perhaps with better spray paint, as this is just done with the cheapie 99 cent variety.

What do you think? Does it need more tweaking? Should I print up some tshirts and/or prints for sale? Would anyone actually buy this? Or should I just save this for surreptitious street stenciling and my own walls?

Super Duper Amazingly Good Big News!

This is just a quickie, but I wanted to share the excellent news. My partner Fae just got notification that she was accepted to Tulane University for her PhD. in Cultural Anthropology for next Fall, so we will be MOVING BACK TO NEW ORLEANS this July! I'm so excited I could burst. I can't wait to be back in my beautifuly city again. More on all this later, I'm sure, but I just wanted to spread the news. I'M COMING HOME!

Rise Up New Orleans Shirts - Finally!

Well I FINALLY managed to make a screen for one of my most popular yet least-available designs I made post-Katrina, the "Rise Up New Orleans" design:

I was so excited to print up a batch of these shirts, but the only blanks I had in stock were all the leftovers from the holiday season... so, what this means is, I have about 15 shirts (and a few other odds and ends) printed right now of varying styles, colors and sizes, and I need to sell some of those first before I can afford to buy some more blank stock.

I am slowly listing them up on my Etsy shop, so you can see what I've got there. Please take a look if you like this design and have been holding out for a silkscreen version of it for a while. (It only took me two years! Sorry!)

Obey Obama, Part 2

An addendum to yesterday's post:

First, there's a great article on Creativity Online with Fairey about why he created the posters. It's pretty interesting.

Second, don't you love this Obey-fan-generated Obama icon (to the right), done in the style of the original Obey Giant sticker? I kinda really want some of these to stick everywhere!

I also forgot to mention that there's a downloadable, 8.5x11" pdf of a black and white version of the Obama "Progress" poster offered on the Obey Giant website, so anyone can print out their own paster version of the poster, should you want to "enlighten" your neighbors, if you live in an as-yet un-primaried state.

Don't, however, get swindled by fraudulent eBay sellers trying to auction off prints of this for $50, cuz you really can download it yourself and print it for free! Some people, I tell ya!

There are even t-shirts now with this b/w image on it. Hard to tell if the seller's story about them being given away at a campaign rally is true or not, as it wouldn't take much for any joe-schmoe to use the pdf download to create their own. Which would be fine to do for personal use, or even to auction off if you're donating the money back to Barack's campaign, but I think it's kinda slimy to do for personal profit. The original artwork being copyrighted and all.

And lastly, there was a cool article yesterday on the New York Times' website about the poster set, recalling political campaign posters of elections past by other famous artists. I'd never seen any of those before, but I must say, Fairey's posters are the best.

Shepard Fairey's Obama Posters

About a week ago, I ran across some references online to a new set of posters by famed "Obey Giant" graphic artist/illustrator Shepard Fairey which depict Barack Obama in a retro social realism propaganda style. Fairey had apparently printed up hundreds of them on newsprint and sold them dirt cheap in packs to folks willing to wheatpaste them up around their Super Tuesday state, with any proceeds going back into the Obama campaign.

There are three prints (that I know of) in the set - the one you see here ("Hope"), another one identical to it but with the word "Progress" below it, and one without Obama's image but instead with a ballot box and the word "Vote." He's since released each of these as signed, limited edition silkscreens or offset prints, with editions ranging from 300-600. (There are also open edition, unsigned glossy lithos of at least the "Hope" poster being given out by Obama's campaign at rallies around the country.)

I've always loved Fairey's "Obey Giant" stuff, but honestly hadn't thought about or seen any of his work in some time. But these instantly grabbed me. Now, I have only recently embraced Obama as my pick for president - I was an early Edwards fan, but since he dropped out, I've been slowly coming around to the Obama fever. I do see him as way more progressive than Clinton, and his words inspire me a lot more than hers do. But at the same time, I'm not gaga over him (yet). So I think it wasn't so much my interest in Obama for President that made me fall in love with these posters, it was more the graphic style and visual qualities of them.

It helps, of course, that I have longtime loved this style of poster art, and poster art in general. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a fan of street art of all kinds, and I enjoy the subversive aspects to this type of street art in particular. After all, the whole reason I started stencilling oh-so-many years ago was in reaction to the political situation unfolding in the year 2000, i.e. Bush stealing the election, the war in Afghanistan, and the impending (at the time) war in Iraq. Some of my earliest stencils were the Bush head "Evildoer" stencil and the "Resist" fist. So Fairey's latest series definitely caught my attention and made me want to know more.

So I started researching and combing his site for info and eventually gleaned that he was indeed releasing them as art prints, not just the pasters he'd issued before to be actually used on the streets. Sadly, by the time I discovered this info, the "Progress" and "Vote" posters had already been sold out, each in a very short time (like minutes, for the former). Fairey has attained almost cult-like status, and his global fanbase is huge. The good news was that the one I liked the best - "Hope" - was set to be issued on Valentine's day, at a random time, and would only cost $30. That price seemed almost obscene to me, given Fairey's notoriety, the fact that it's a limited edition and signed, and the historic nature of this presidential election and Obama's potential nomination for the Democratic Party. Plus I just really, really liked it. How could I not try to purchase one?

Well, after 40 hours of waiting, obsessively checking and refreshing the website, and scouring the internet until I finally found an Obey Giant forum where I could get information about the impending release time, the prints finally went on sale yesterday around 5pm Eastern. I wasn't online at the moment they went up, but thankfully due to the late hour on a Friday and probably the fact that lots of fans had given up after experiencing the site repeatedly crashing and being unavailable (due to high volume of traffic), many had given up. So after 5 hours of refreshing, I did finally get through around 10pm last night and scored my very own signed and numbered copy of this poster, for which I can't wait until it arrives.

Now if I can just track down a copy of the "Vote" poster - even a paster will do for me - I can have them framed together!

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