Not only is Mr. Obama going to Washington, but so is the iconic poster portrait of him created by Echo Park artist Shepard Fairey. According to the Associated Press, a copy of the work has been acquired by the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery for its permanent collection. AP reports that it will appear for the public by Inauguration Day. Fairey's “Hope” portrait, which, rather like Alberto Korda's heroic photograph of Che Guevara, depicts the president-elect as gazing above the viewer, as though fixed on some futuristic victory.
“Hope” became an ubiquitous image throughout the 2007-2008 presidential primary and election campaign, appearing in windows, on T-shirts and decals. The image, with its subdued red, white and blue coloring, recently graced Time's cover portraying Barack Obama as the magazine's Person of the Year.