Local artist Shepard Fairey who created the main “Hope” image for Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s campaign has responded to some growing criticism about the image and what it suggests. This from a reply just posted on his blog:
“The Obama image is a positive image that is patriotic and in no way Socialist or Communist. Is your assertion that my poster is “RED” based on my use of the colors from the AMERICAN flag, one of which happens to be red? I have criticized the U.S. government in my work, though I am a patriotic American. I believe patriotism is about trying to follow your conscience and make the country the best it can be. You are obviously a nationalist who supports the U.S. unconditionally. Nationalism brought Hitler to power. I’m not interested in promoting that mentality.”
This flyer has been distributed around Los Angeles and probably other places, though it’s not the first to make this incorrect assumptions. I’ve seen people make claims that Shepard only ever does portraits of communists and socialist revolutionaries so therefor he must be making a statement like that about Obama. Usually pointing these folks to any number of the portraits of people he’s just a fan of like Ozzy Osbourne, Jay Adams, LL Cool J or Flava Flav is enough to get them to reconsider. I guess in this case he felt like a more direct reply was in order.
(Disclaimer: I met Shepard over 10 years ago and have considered him a trusted friend ever since.)