Shepard Fairey Designs 'Occupy Hope' Poster, Replaces Obama's Face With 'V for Vendetta' Mask
Full-sized version below.
Updated after the jump: Fairey changes the "Occupy Hope" poster to please occupiers. "Anonymous" hackers, who also rep the Guy Fawkes mask, are likely still unsatisfied.
Originally posted November 18 at 3:50 p.m.
Here we go again. L.A. street artist Shepard Fairey has released a second original design for the Occupy Wall Street movement -- and this time, instead of playing it safe with a wistful scene out of an Angela Davis documentary, he's given his own (in)famous HOPE poster from Obama's first election campaign a rebellious makeover.
It uses all the same colors and graphic-design aesthetics as the original. Only difference is, Fairey has replaced President Obama's heavenward gaze with a "V for Vendetta" Guy Fawkes mask -- one of the key props used by Occupy Wall Street protesters.
Across the bottom, the poster reads, "Mister President, we HOPE you're on our side" (little passive-aggressive there?), and it's stamped with a "We are the 99 percent" logo.
For one last dose of irony, Fairey recycles the same red-white-and-blue "O" he once used as Obama's first initial into a ring around the "99 percent" slogan.
"I'm still trying to work out copyright issues I may face with this image," the big-time graffiti artist writes on the blog for his Obey brand. In case you missed it, he's referring to the copyright lawsuit filed against him by the Associated Press for using an AP photographer's Obama portrait as a guide for the HOPE poster.
So either he's scared to get sued by the makers of "V for Vendetta" (doubt it), or he's worried the image still too closely resembles the Obama portrait -- even with the president's facial features swapped out for a creepy anarchist's grin.
Obama himself likely won't be raising a fuss, considering he already threw out the HOPE posters with his last campaign's bathwater, and has been trying desperately to make the OWS kiddies dig him again.
All right, Fairey. Strut your stuff, you little rascal:
And here's the template, for reference.
What do you think? Blatant attempt to earn back some street cred after the Copenhagen incident, in which foreigners beat Fairey up and called him a "Yankee hipster" and an "Obama illuminati"? Gotta say, he might be onto something here. It's almost like he tagged his own dorky, government-approved art mural. Or like... occupied it. Meta.
Update: Then again, the poster's accompanying statement falls pretty squarely on the patriotic, pro-bama side of the debate.
"... As flawed as the system is, I see Obama as a potential ally of the Occupy movement if the energy of the movement is perceived as constructive, not destructive. I still see Obama as the closest thing to "a man on the inside" that we have presently."
Update: Our sister blog in New York noticed last week that Fairey had removed the "Mr. President" language from his Occupy HOPE poster after engaging in a swashbuckling back-and-forth with "an Occupy Wall Street organizer" on OWSnews.org. Though Fairey doesn't agree with the organizer's critique in its entirety -- namely, the part where he accuses the artist of helping Obama co-opt Occupy Wall Street -- he was apparently humbled enough to dive back into Photoshop for some tweaks.
The revised version, which Fairey has file-named "final," for what it's worth:
Of course, this probably doesn't appease the unimpressed Anonymous crowd, from whom we received dozens of emails alleging Fairey had copied their "Truth Will Out" campaign for Wikileaks.
Now now, guys. There's enough Fawkes to go around. Though we're not really sure what he has to do with either movement, aside from the whole non-conformist shtick.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.