something you might recognise:
he began by slapping his ‘andre the giant’ sticker (beginnings of what evolved into his trademark image, as above) everywhere he could with his mates and fellow design students. the now artist, designer and entrepreneur eventually refined the design to be made into posters and finally pasted them on a multitude of walls globally. an act and image only really meant as an in-joke became more and more recognised by the general public and generated a slightly overwhelming reverberation.
fairey himself admits,
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...
i was lucky enough to stumble across his paris exhibition just recently. here i found host of prints by the artist which are currently for sale. personally, i never knew the extent of the work fairey had produced outside the OBEY stickers and posters and was amused to find a multitude of interesting pop culture identities and references within the work displayed.
fairey’s experience in design on large commercial scales (having made a name for himself in the marketing/design world, he has worked for the likes of pepsi, hasbro and the black eyed peas to name just a handful in addition to founding his own design company) is evident and the work is highly polished and seriously well made.
i love the subtle (and not so subtle!) nods to different styles of commercial design in the direction of art nouveau posters of the 20s, skater style imagery, chinese propaganda designs and 1960s music posters. the simple use of colour (predominantly black, neutrals, red and blue) and continued reference to the stencil also floats my boat, as i’m sure it will yours… take a geez…
NB: this exhibition can be found at the gallerie magda danysz
(78 rue amelot, 75011 – the work will be around until 18th June so be sure to check it out!)