Obey the Giant
Frank Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, illustrator and founder of OBEY Clothing who emerged from the skateboarding scene. Watch his film, Obey the Giant – The Shepherd Fairey Story (2012), to get a feel of this guys talent. A talent that combines art and politics, and where art should be. What makes it okay for public authorities that we pay for, to allow the commercialism of our cities through billboard advertising but disallow public spaces to be used to inform the public of issues that helps communities tackle the likes of drug problems, abuse, and corruption. It was Shepherd Fairey that was behind the Obama HOPE posters. Possibly there will be a different one now, as Obama did nothing in his two terms, probably just obeyd his puppet masters.
In the UK, we also had an artist called Gee Vaucher, known for her protest art, using art as a tool for social change, and a member of the anarchist band Crass. Gee’s art work has been overwhelming.
Another artist that I consider has done tremendous work in highlighting corruption and hypocracy within US politics is Raymond Pettibon. You will know of him from the covers of Black Flag and possibly know the Black Flag four bars emblem.
There are tons of people out there trying to make a difference, stencilling, stickering, painting. Out there on the streets is where you can make a difference. Persuading others before its too late. Everyone has the ability to create art. Art is in the eye of the beholder. Creating is art.
In the 80s I was out there stencilling, postering, graffiti writing – political art, under the name of Gaddafi. Did it make a difference, not sure. But is sure a better way than signing petitions. Long live street art.