Thursday, September 18, 2008

Artist Admits Obama Poster Rooted in Soviet Propaganda Art

I was surprised to receive a comment on a previous post questioning my assertion that the Obama campaign art is based on Soviet propaganda images. So I am happy to see in today's San Francisco Chronicle that one of the artists, Shepard Fairey, is straightforward and clear about this. Fairey designed the poster with the word HOPE at the bottom, and now says this about that:

The image has been interpreted by critics as either capturing the inspiration Obama embodies or as just downright creepy in its propagandistic depiction of the political figure. The portrait, in muted tones, takes cues from socialist realism and is reminiscent of posters created to celebrate Lenin, Stalin and Mao. Fairey has enjoyed this debate. "The illustration does have roots in propaganda art," Fairey said. "I also want it to seem like a patriotic image, but not be seen as too countercultural. ... It needed just enough mainstream ingredients to transcend."

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