OBEY: Supply & Demand – The Art of Shepard Fairey

Art, Books — Doctor Ninja on February 2, 2007 at 12:50 am

Andre the Giant has a posse 7′4″520LB the sticker that started it all. I’ve put up my share of these little bastards, but Shepard Fairey has covered the earth with them. The last time I saw Shep he was putting them up at a rate of about 15 per minute while carrying on a conversation and walking down the street at the same time. I found it a little distracting that every time I turned to say something to him he was hanging off the top of a streetlamp or a crosswalk sign. And when the police rolled up, his wife Amanda pulled the old “Hey Shepard, let’s make out now!” trick while I made my best attempt to disassociate myself from any criminal activities.

I’ve been trading stickers & artwork with this notorious character since 1991. He started his giant takeover in 1989 and it took me a couple years to track him down. I was immediately attracted to Shepard’s work, stemming from my love of punk rock, stickers, propaganda and…well…Andre the Giant. Andre was a professional wrestler from the 80s. There was a point when he was the most recognized sports figure in the world, second only to Muhammad Ali. The sticker image comes from a grainy picture of Andre’s face that Shepard clipped out of a newspaper. He was showing a friend how to make a stencil & just thought it looked funny.

I’ve always loved multiples. Lots and lots of the same thing. Over and over again. Especially if it’s a shitty zerox. I loved the fact that if I ran out of the stickers that Shepard would send me, I could just make my own on a copy machine and they would look exactly the same. That they were totally absurd made me love them even more. 17 years later knowing that there’s millions of these retarded little portraits of Andre the Giant all over the world is pretty funny. Shepard might be famous now but there are still millions of people who are completely baffled by the ubiquitous stickers.

Supply & Demand is really great. It’s a beautiful hardcover with gold embossing on it. A book that finally does justice to Shepard’s work. Clocking in at over 350 pages it’s got tons of great photo’s and reproductions. I love the surveillance shots of bombing in action. Then there are pages and pages of the aftermath. Theres lots of other stuff too, his silk-screened prints, his influences, arrest records, bootleg stickers, even some hate mail!

Obey Giant! Buy this book! http://obeygiant.com/

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