Shepard Fairey Biography,Age,Family,Posters,Net Worth,Artwork, Denver

Shepard Fairey Biography

Shepard Fairey born as Frank Shepard Fairey is an American contemporary street artist, graphic designer, activist, illustrator, and founder of OBEY Clothing who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” (…OBEY…) sticker campaign while attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

He became widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential election for his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston has described him as one of the best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Shepard Fairey Age

He was born on 15 February 1970, Charleston, South Carolina United States. He is 49 years old.

Shepard FaireyHeight

Sherpard stands a height of 5 feet 10 inches.

Shepard Fairey Family

Fairey was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. His father, Strait Fairey, is a doctor, and his mother, Charlotte, a realtor. Shepard is married to Amanda Fairey together they have two daughters Vivienne Fairey and Madeline Fairey

Shepard Fairey Wife

Fairey is married to a producer and also actress Amanda

Shepard Fairey Career

Fairey created the “André the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign in 1989 while attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). This later evolved into the “Obey Giant” campaign, which has grown via an international network of collaborators replicating Fairey’s original designs.

Fairey intended the Obey Giant to inspire curiosity and cause people to question their relationship with their surroundings. According to the Obey Giant website, “The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker”.

The website also says, by contrast, that those who are familiar with the sticker find humor and enjoyment from it and that those who try to analyze its meaning only burden themselves and may condemn the art as an act of vandalism from an evil, underground cult.

Originally intending the sticker campaign to gain fame among his classmates and college peers, Fairey says,

At first I was only thinking about the response from my clique of art school and skateboard friends. The fact that a larger segment of the public would not only notice, but investigate, the unexplained appearance of the stickers was something I had not contemplated.

When I started to see reactions and consider the sociological forces at work surrounding the use of public space and the insertion of a very eye-catching but ambiguous image, I began to think there was the potential to create a phenomenon.

In a manifesto he wrote in 1990, and since posted on his website, he links his work with Heidegger’s concept of phenomenology. His “Obey” Campaign is from the John Carpenter movie They Live which starred pro wrestler Roddy Piper, taking a number of its slogans, including the “Obey” slogan, as well as the “This is Your God” slogan.

Fairey has spun off the OBEY clothing line from the original sticker campaign.[citation needed] He also uses the slogan “The Medium is the Message” borrowed from Marshall McLuhan. Shepard Fairey has stated in an interview that part of his work is inspired by other street artists.

Shepard Fairey Posters

Fairey created a series of posters supporting Barack Obama’s 2008 candidacy for President of the United States, including the iconic “HOPE” portrait. The New Yorker art critic Peter Schjeldahl called the poster “the most efficacious American political illustration since ‘Uncle Sam Wants You'”.

Fairey also created an exclusive design for Rock the Vote. Because the Hope poster had been “perpetuated illegally” and independently by the street artist, the Obama campaign declined to have any direct affiliation with it.

Although the campaign officially disavowed any involvement in the creation or popularization of the poster, Fairey has commented in interviews that he was in communication with campaign officials during the period immediately following the poster’s release.

Fairey has stated that the original version featured the word “PROGRESS” instead of the word “HOPE”, and that within weeks of its release, the campaign requested that the issue (and legally disseminate) a new version, keeping the powerful image of Obama’s face but captioning it with the word “HOPE”.

The campaign openly embraced the revised poster along with two additional Fairey posters that featured the words “CHANGE” and “VOTE”.

Fairey distributed 300,000 stickers and 500,000 posters during the campaign, funding his grassroots electioneering through poster and fine art sales. “I just put all that money back into making more stuff, so I didn’t keep any of the Obama money”, explained Fairey in December 2009.

In February 2008, Fairey received a letter of thanks from Obama for his contribution to the campaign. The letter stated:

I would like to thank you for using your talent in support of my campaign. The political messages involved in your work have encouraged Americans to believe they can change the status quo. Your images have a profound effect on people, whether seen in a gallery or on a stop sign.

I am privileged to be a part of your artwork and proud to have your support. I wish you continued success and creativity.– Barack Obama, February 22, 2008

On November 5, 2008, Chicago posted banners throughout the downtown business district featuring Fairey’s Obama “HOPE” portrait.

Fairey created a similar but new image of Barack Obama for Time magazine, which was used as the cover art for the 2008 Person of the Year issue.The original iconic “HOPE” portrait was featured on the cover of Esquire Magazine’s February 2009 issue, this time with a caption reading, “WHAT NOW?” Shepard Fairey’s influence throughout the presidential election was a factor in the artist himself having been named a Person of the Year for 2008 by GQ.

In January 2009, the “HOPE” portrait was acquired by the U.S. National Portrait Gallery and made part of its permanent collection.It was unveiled and put on display on January 17, 2009.

In 2009 Fairey’s Obama portrait was featured in the book Art For Obama: Designing Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change, which Fairey also edited.

Mandela by Shepard Fairey Mural
In his December 8, 2010 appearance on The Colbert Report, Stephen Colbert asked Fairey how he felt about having done the “HOPE” portrait of Obama and how “that hope was working out for him now?” to which Fairey replied: “You know, I’m proud of it as a piece of grassroots activism, but I’ll just leave it at that”.[citation needed]

In an interview with Esquire in 2015 Fairey said that Obama had not lived up to his expectations, “not even close”. He continued, “Obama has had a really tough time, but there have been a lot of things that he’s compromised on that I never would have expected.

I mean, drones and domestic spying are the last things I would have thought [he’d support].”

Fairey created a mutt version of the red, white, and blue poster, donating it to help support pet adoptions, from an image of a rescued shaggy dog taken by photographer Clay Myers. Four hundred limited edition prints were offered by, a nonprofit organization that helps shelters, humane societies and rescue groups advertise their homeless pets to potential adopters. The poster, which was also offered as a free download, was featured on the cover of the spring 2009 edition of Dog’s Life magazine.

Shepard Fairey Net Worth

Shepard has an estimated net worth of $15 million

Shepard Fairey Facts

Shepard Fairey has made a particular hue of red his signature color: present in all of his work, this is the sign you are looking at a Fairey’s.

Shepard Fairey was first just a skater kid into punk rock music: he started as an artist at the age of 14 screen printing t-shirts and skateboards for himself and his friends. Later, while studying at the Rhode Island School of Design, he worked part-time at a skateboarding shop.

His famous « Obey » visual, originally comes from an advertisement he found in the newspapers with the face of the famous French wrestler and actor, André Roussimoff, known under the nickname Andre The Giant.

After the success of his « Hope » poster during Obama’s campaign in 2008, Shepard Fairey was sued for copyright infringement by Mannie Garcia, the photographer who took the original picture Fairey used.

At nighttime, Shepard Fairey also spins his music in clubs under the nicknames DJ Diabetic and Emcee Insulin.

In 2007, he designed the cover album for the Smashing Pumpkin, an American alternative rock band.

Shepard Fairey was busted more than 12 times for damage to public or private property. He actually just got arrested in Detroit upon his return from Europe for malicious destruction of property. Punishment for the offense carries up to five years in prison…

In 2010, Shepard Fairey designed the wedding invite for Katy Perry and Russell Brand’s wedding.

animal thumb
In 2008, he designed the cover for a new edition of the English classic “The Animal Farm” by George Orwell

Because Shepard Fairey had not saturated public space quite enough, he partnered up with Curio Wallcoverings to produce limited-run wallpaper with its “Obey” visual.

Shepard Fairey Artwork

  • Fairey designed the album artwork for Flogging Molly’s Whiskey on a Sunday.
  • Appears in the 2006 videogame, Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, as himself.
  • Fairey provided the design for the Obey Giant room at The Creek South Beach.
  • Fairey designed the cover for the books Woodstock Experience by Michael Lang, Dan Garson, Henry
  • Diltz (Genesis Publications, 2009)), A Heartbeat and A Guitar: Johnny Cash and the Making of Bitter
  • Tears. (Basic Books/Nation Books, 2009) by Antonino D’Ambrosio and the cover of the Smashing
  • Pumpkins album Zeitgeist, Led Zeppelin’s Mothership, Sage Francis’s Li(f)e, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ The Live Anthology and, in 2010, Stone Temple Pilots’ eponymous album.
  • He designed the album cover for’s second solo album Must B 21 (Soundtrack to Get Things Started).
  • On January 19, 2009, Fairey created a Google Doodle for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday.
  • Fairey’s iconic Obey logo appears in several levels of the Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 video game. It also appears briefly in part two of the anime Afro Samurai.
  • The “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” is also a stock spray image in Valve’s popular video game title CounterStrike (v1.6, the spray was not included in CounterStrike: Source)
  • Fairey designed the cover for Russell Brand’s second autobiography Booky Wook 2.
  • Fairey contributed a drawing to the Police Brutality Coloring Book in 2011.

Shepard Fairey Documentary

Shepard Fairey Quotes

For me, there has always been a disconnect with the sort of elitist structure of the high-art world – and my distaste for that is at odds with my feeling that art should aspire to do great things.

I’ve been making pieces dealing with environmental issues at least since 2004; I mean, I did stuff for the Sierra Club and the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge even back in the 1990s. But somewhere a little after 2004, Hummer hits me up. I’m like, ‘Are you kidding me?’

If you’re creating something that has some sort of cultural currency – if the idea is getting out there – then that will probably yield money in some form, whether it’s through selling art or selling books or being asked to give a lecture.

Art shows and the institutions end up being the couriers for culture for the next generation and are an important component as well. It may seem ironic from one perspective, but I think if you look at my overall strategy, it’s actually not out of step.

Propaganda has a negative connotation, which it partially deserves, but I think there is some propaganda that is very positive. I feel that if you can do something that gets people’s attention, then maybe they’ll go and find out more about the person.


Shepard Fairey Instagram

Shepard Fairey Denver

There aren’t very many household names in the street art world — not yet, at least — and so the few guerrilla artists who have made a brand or a reputation for themselves across the world are more in demand now than ever before. One of those artists is Shepard Fairey, who despite (or because of) having a pretty impressive list of arrests for his unsanctioned graffiti and poster bombing, has made a full-time career in street art. And in September, Fairey will come to Denver to participate in the annual CRUSH street art festival, transforming a wall on Larimer Street in RiNo.

READ: 20+ Artists We Are Excited to See Paint at CRUSH This Year
CRUSH (now known as CRUSH WALLS) was recently taken over by RiNo Art District after seven years of being organized by founding artist Robin Munro. Though Munro will still be a pivotal part of the development, planning and execution, RiNo Art District is bringing more structure and a lot more funding to the project. After an expansion last year from two days to a week in duration and also expanding the footprint of walls covered, this year will see even more growth, including artists like Fairey.

Now 48 years old, Fairey’s first foray into the street art world came at the ripe age of 19 when he was attending the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). As a skateboarder and punk-enthusiast in his teens, the transition to street art felt seamless for Fairey who admittedly only created his first art to impress or humor his friends and peers in the art school and skate worlds. That first work was what is now known as the OBEY series, although it started as “André the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign. Fairey simply printed an image he digitally altered of a photo of André the Giant on stickers and left them all over the city. Later, he added the word OBEY as a kind of slogan to go along with the image and his tactic of pasting them in repetitive displays. The campaign spread quickly, eventually popping up in cities all over the world thanks to a network of artists who replicated Fairey’s design or used his stickers directly.

Andre the Giant OBEY campaign by Shepard Fairey. Photo courtesy of OBEY GIANT on Facebook

Though Fairey’s symbolism became popular quickly, he didn’t immediately become well-known and instead started a printing business to support his passion as a part-time guerrilla graffiti artist. Through this experience, Fairey honed the craft of printing on t-shirts, stickers and posters — all avenues he then used to spread his political and social dissent. But Fairey is not a rebel without a cause, even if he grew up comfortably, and his disapproval about a spectrum of issues rings true to many people. Instead of the fiery hot-headedness of most in the punk world, Fairey spends his time crafting artistic political campaigns that can be both subversive and in-your-face. One of Fairey’s most-cited influences is the art of propaganda and advertising, where he uses their same tactics (repetition, redundancy, curiosity) but for almost opposite purposes.

What really launched Fairey into becoming a household name — more than his OBEY series or any of his guerrilla pieces that were legendary in the underground scenes — was his creation of the HOPE poster in support of Obama’s 2008 Presidential race, though it was technically unaffiliated to the campaign itself. The success of that poster in terms of visibility and replication was exponential but Fairey did not succeed financially or personally, he created the poster because of his frustration at George W. Bush’s administration and his honest hope that Obama could do better. And that’s a bottom line for Fairey, throughout all of his work and his 30-year career, to speak honestly about issues and problems he sees in society, in government, in politics, in banking or in any established institution unwilling or unable to change to suit the needs of the people it serves.

His work is inspiring because of that fervor — but in that passion he does not sacrifice meaning, creating work that is both informative and eye-opening. An academic punk, Fairey does not just say “fuck the system” he says “here’s why the system is fucked.”
But Fairey has evolved in his artistry in the last three decades to include more color and more finesse. Though the OBEY series snowballed into a clothing line that still replicates the black-and-white graphic nature of Fairey’s first stickers, many of his murals, wheatpastes, posters and other art focuses on positive imagery and people. In 2014 he painted a nine-story mural of Nelson Mandela, a personal hero, in Johannesburg, South Africa. And in 2015 he created a sphere that hung from the Eiffel Tower in Paris that both celebrated nature and reminded viewers of the threats we pose to it, later completing a mural in Paris of the original image for that sphere.

This upcoming visit of Fairey’s to Colorado will not be the first for him. He was just here a month ago to install a mural in Aspen as part of his Global Mural Project. It’s also not his first time working in Denver — his piece is still visible at the Center for Visual Arts on Santa Fe, which he completed in 2012 before he exhibited work at the local art gallery dedicated to street and urban art, Black Book Gallery. But this one feels different, perhaps because his involvement in CRUSH seems to be an endorsement of the festival and of Denver’s street art scene in a big way.

At this time, the exact location of Fairey’s upcoming CRUSH mural has not been announced. But, the landscape of Larimer is sure to change dramatically with whatever Fairey decides to create. The famed artist is known for many things at this point, but he is certainly not known for subtlety.

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