Shepard Fairey Talks “Hope”, “Obey” & Art

Shepard Fairey Talks “Hope”, “Obey” & Art


>>Stephen: WELCOME BACK. MY NEXT GUEST IS AN ARTIST AND
AN ACTIVIST WHO BECAME FAMOUS FOR HIS OBAMA HOPE POSTER. PLEASE WELCOME SHEPARD FAIREY. (APPLAUSE)
I GET TO HUG YOU BECAUSE WE’RE FROM THE SAME HOMETOWN.>>CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA.>>Stephen: EXACTLY. GREW UP RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER
FROM EACH OTHER.>>SOUTH BATTERY.>>PART OF THE TIME, I UPGRADED.>>Stephen: WELL, LET’S SEE. LET’S EDUCATE THE PEOPLE A
LITTLE BIT WHO MAY NOT KNOW EVERYTHING THEY NEED TO KNOW
ABOUT SHEPARD FAIREY. YOU FIRST MADE AN IMPRESSION IN
THE STREET ART SCENE WITH YOUR FAMOUS OBEY ICON, ANDRE THE
GIANT SAYS OBEY. , ALL RIGHT. AND THEN YOU ROSE TO
INTERNATIONAL PROM NENS WITH YOUR OBAMA HOPE POSTER FROM
2008. (APPLAUSE)
>>RIGHT, UNEXPECTED.>>Stephen: IS THERE ANYTHING
THAT THESE TWO POSTERS HAVE IN COMMON? (LAUGHTER)
>>YES.>>Stephen: THEY’RE BOTH
LEADERS.>>WELL, THEY’RE BOTH ABOUT
PUTTING ACROSS MY PHILOSOPHY. THE OBEY IS GETTING PEOPLE TO
QUESTION OBEDIENCE AND, YOU KNOW, IN A SENSE IT’S
ANTAGONISTIC, IT’S PROVOCATIVE, THE OBAMA WAS AFTER A VERY DARK
PERIOD OF THE BUSH YEARS AND A LOT OF CYNICISM. IT WAS A GENUINELY OPTIMISTIC
GESTURE, VERY SINCERE.>>Stephen: DO YOU STILL FEEL
OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THE PRESIDENT?>>BLOCKING THE KEYSTONE
PIPELINE IS SOMETHING THAT I’M VERY PROUD OF HIM DOING. (CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
>>BUT THAT’S A COMPLICATED QUESTION. IT’S A COMPLICATED QUESTION.>>Stephen: OKAY. WELL, YOU MAKE SOME COMPLICATED
ART. AND YOU HAVE A NEW BOOK OF ART
YOU HAVE DONE SINCE 2008. IT’S CALLED COVERT TO OVERT.>>YEAH.>>Stephen: WHAT DO YOU MEAN
COVERT TO OVERT. WHEN WERE YOU COVERT?>>WELL, PRETTY MUCH MY WHOLE
CAREER WAS BUILD UPON BRINGING ART TO PEOPLE IN THE STREETS
WHERE THEY LIVE, NOT GOING TO GALLERIES OR MUSEUMS OR OTHER
VERY NARROW, ELITIST PLACES BUT TO PUT ART WHERE PEOPLE LIVE. BECAUSE I THINK ART HAS AN
INCREDIBLE POTENTIAL TO AFFECT PEOPLE EMOTIONALLY AND
INTELLECTUALLY AND CREATE CONVERSATIONS. SO THE WAY THAT MUSIC WORKS,
THINGS LIKE JOHNNY CASH, PUBLIC ENEMY, BOB MARCHLY, THE CLASH, I
THINK VISUAL ART SHOULD DO MORE OF THAT. IT SHOULD AFFECT PEOPLE
VISERALLY AND BE VERY DEMOCRATIC AND ACCESSIBLE. SO I WAS UNDERGROUND DOING
THINGS ON THE STREET BECAUSE YOU CAN GET IN TROUBLE FOR DOING
THINGS ON THE STREET.>>Stephen: AND YOU LIKE
GETTING IN TROUBLE?>>I DON’T LIKE GETTING IN
TROUBLE. I LIKE– .>>Stephen: YOU’VE GOTTEN IN
TROUBLE A LOT.>>I HAVE. I HAVE.>>Stephen: NOT EVERYBODY GOES
TO JAIL FOR THEIR ART.>>WELL, I HAVE MAYBE A HIGHER
LEVEL OF COMMITMENT THAN A LOT OF PEOPLE DO. (APPLAUSE)
BUT WHAT I BELIEVE IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS FINDING ANY MEANS
THAT YOU CAN TO KOABLGHT WITH PEOPLE– TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
AND THERE WERE NO OPPORTUNITIES PROVIDED FOR ME SO I HAD TO
CREATE MY OWN OPPORTUNITIES. BUT NOW I UTILIZE WHAT I CALLED
INSIDE OUTSIDE STRATEGY. FOR YEARS I WAS AN OUTSIDER. NOW BECAUSE I HAD THE COURAGE TO
PUT MY WORK OUT THERE, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE OFFERED ME WAYS TO
DO THINGS WITH MULTIPLE PLATFORMS AND IN A SENSE
INFILTRATED THE SYSTEM. AND SOMETIMES PEOPLE THINK THAT
THAT MEANS WILL YOU COMPROMISE. BUT I ACTUALLY THINK IF YOU ARE
SHREWD YOU CAN USE THE MACHINE REE IN A WAY THAT IS NOT
COMPROMISED, HAS INTEGRITY AND YET REACHES MORE PEOPLE. THAT’S WHY I’M HERE.>>Stephen: WELCOME. WELCOME TO THE MACHINE.

72 thoughts on “Shepard Fairey Talks “Hope”, “Obey” & Art

  • November 17, 2015 at 8:48 am
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    first?

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  • November 17, 2015 at 8:51 am
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    Please, for the love of the future, keep introducing American late night audiences to culture beyond Hollywood! It feels like a dream that this show even exists.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:10 am
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    What a sellout.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:20 am
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    Welp, he definitely sounds like an artist 🙂

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:36 am
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    Is his shirt suppose to be a play on the Crass logo or am I missing something…?

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:39 am
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    "Blocking the Keystone Pipeline is something I'm proud of him doing." And Stephen "But that's a complicated question."

    Well yes but WHAT?!

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:55 am
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    Grade school photos at the end? Just why? I'd rather have had a few more moments of good conversation. If I want to see celebrities photos as kids I'll start clicking on Internet banner ads or start watching lesser quality shows. Get rid of whichever writer had that idea.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 10:02 am
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    Boring David Choe

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  • November 17, 2015 at 10:31 am
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    I like this guy.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 12:54 pm
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    the irony about "obey" is that people have been quite obedient in their following of the trend.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 1:08 pm
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    Yay, he basically stole the "Obey" idea from John Carpenter's movie "They Live", which actually did have a message about obedience instead of just stealing both the idea and the image and then later suing someone else for stealing part of his image that he stole before. Artist my ass, he steals ideas and pretends like they're his own. And his Obama Hope poster is literally just a bunch of filters thrown together.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm
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    So this is the guy responsible for the preferred hat brand of assholes everywhere. That isn't a dis, he made it really easy to identify people we should avoid

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  • November 17, 2015 at 1:17 pm
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    I fuckin hate those screams 3:00

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  • November 17, 2015 at 1:48 pm
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    Very smart, intellectual, and dedicated to his art form, truly awe inspiring.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 1:59 pm
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    I like all late night shows but
    Stephen just seems like he doesn't care about what other hosts are doing.
    I like what he's doing with the show, especially the guests… it's just different.
    kudos on this dude

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  • November 17, 2015 at 2:54 pm
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    Thanks for showing me this guy Stephen!

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  • November 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm
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    climate change bullshit spokesman

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  • November 17, 2015 at 3:55 pm
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    Yay stopping the creation of thousands of American jobs and cheaper oil! Obama is such a hero…

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  • November 17, 2015 at 5:09 pm
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    These comments make no sense. Are you daft? He's an artist, of course he's a democrat liberal. That subcategory practically invented the liberal with the whole avant-garde modernist movement in the early 20th century.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 5:39 pm
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    If you want to interview and raise the profile an artist who gets thrown in jail for doing their work, want to make it not a white dude from the US selling a book? Broaden the conversation please! Disrupt existing power structures! There are other artists!

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  • November 17, 2015 at 5:42 pm
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    Colbert brings intelligent guests unlike other shows.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 5:54 pm
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    Stephen gets much better guests than everyone else

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  • November 17, 2015 at 6:25 pm
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    How does this plagiarising hack get tv interviews?

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  • November 17, 2015 at 6:39 pm
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    I used to think this guy was a tool, then he gave a speech at my college graduation that was incredibly powerful. He's a really genuine and intelligent person. Props to Colbert for having him on his show.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 6:52 pm
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    welcoooooome to the machiiiiiiine

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  • November 17, 2015 at 7:29 pm
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    With this man's name I imagine a tiny fairy shepherd floating, hurdling a bunch of tiny winged sheep towards a floating pen.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 8:16 pm
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    This is infinitely better than talk shows who only get to talk with Hollywood celebrities about things that don't really influence anything.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 8:30 pm
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    He took the "Obey" from the John Carpenter film "They Live"

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  • November 17, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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    The guy looked like Brendan Rodgers in the thumbnail.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:14 pm
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    Originality? It's dead, get over it. The fact that this man isn't in jail for the art that he displays out on the street, is good. He still sending out a valuable message. He's able to make a profit out his paintings & a clothing line? Cool, wouldn't you want to? Fun fact Obey clothing is is Fair Trade, feed yourself with more knowledge about what he does. Stop trying to make an ass out of everyone

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:45 pm
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    Thank god for YouTube breaks at work I really need the mental break from some of the idiotic rage that happens online.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 9:48 pm
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    why stephen don't ask him about his close friend banksy 🙂

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  • November 17, 2015 at 10:21 pm
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    Pink Floyd – Welcome To The Machine. Great song.

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  • November 17, 2015 at 11:54 pm
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    "I have a higher level of commitment…" What an asshole.

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  • November 18, 2015 at 12:08 am
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    Shepard Fairey is an American treasure. I'd go so far as to call him the Banksy of our generation. Also "Welcome to the Machine" is a bitchin Pink Floyd song and I'm gonna go listen to it now

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  • November 18, 2015 at 1:13 am
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    Glad Steven can bring on interesting articulate guests like Mr. Fairey in addition to the usual slog of presidential candidates.

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  • November 18, 2015 at 1:16 am
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    This guy is a douche and always has been.

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  • November 18, 2015 at 1:39 am
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    one of the best interviews i've heard…big fan of shepard…such carefully chosen and elocuent words

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  • November 18, 2015 at 2:58 am
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    "courage" to put your art out there…o.O

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  • November 18, 2015 at 5:46 am
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    obey was made to have people question obedience and instead became a trend that garnered people's obedience. oh well

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  • November 18, 2015 at 6:30 am
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    he has said in an interview that he is disappointed in Obama. He said it around the same time Matt Damon was saying the same thing.

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  • November 18, 2015 at 3:01 pm
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    HAH everyone has same reaction to how they feel about obama before and after. I find it very amusing.

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  • November 18, 2015 at 3:29 pm
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    When the machine breaks down, we break down…

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  • November 18, 2015 at 4:27 pm
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    Interesting

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  • November 18, 2015 at 5:24 pm
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    All of you spellbound citizens in marvel at how eloquent and intelligent Sheppys words are?? What were you all raised in an abandoned dilapidated barn or something? I have heard far more intriguing and intelligent conversations on public transit. Stop with the hearts and butterflies already people hahah, omg you are all clones!!!
    The 90s was the generation of the poser, an individual tryna fit in with the sub cultures that they had no real voice or identity with. 2000z yall mastered the art of the poser just nailed it! 2teens, woah, now yall just clones and have no idea what culture it is you are biting. Have fun fitting in with that, you can regret it in a few years when ya looking back through old photos and will be like "wtf I used to wear that conformist bs". haha good day.

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  • November 18, 2015 at 8:08 pm
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    exit through the giftshop

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  • November 20, 2015 at 3:36 am
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    CRASS

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  • November 20, 2015 at 7:55 am
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    Your show has actual American culture we can be proud of! Thank you Stephen!

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  • November 23, 2015 at 3:16 am
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    Thief

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  • November 25, 2015 at 7:16 pm
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    Love the diversity of Colbert's guests.

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  • November 25, 2015 at 8:17 pm
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    Andre the Giant has a posse! – Can't tell you how many stickers I plastered on the east side. Keep it up Shepard!

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  • December 4, 2015 at 10:08 pm
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    wow, he has an incredible ego

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  • December 13, 2015 at 2:28 am
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    god he so arrogant

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  • January 20, 2016 at 7:13 am
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    They're both propagada ! Yaaaaay

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  • February 1, 2016 at 7:33 pm
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    one of the most pedant known artists

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  • April 30, 2016 at 6:41 pm
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    Total liberal

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  • May 1, 2016 at 5:20 am
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    Anyone else notice his shirt? It's a badass design. It is the logo from an old punk rock band called Crass, who sang a lot of controversial political songs and were very outspoken about being against the system. The original band's logo has a cross in the center, he replaced it here with a peace symbol.

    Very creative choice on his part, and for the people who get it, that is a very powerful message to wear such a shirt on a major TV show.

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  • June 27, 2016 at 4:43 am
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    I own one of the original signed prints of his Bernie Sanders/Red Hot Chili Peppers posters from their live performance at Ace Hotel in LA. $220 worth of framing but well worth it for awesome art work.

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  • January 25, 2017 at 10:45 am
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    Nothing like a pathetic liberal panzy artist.

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  • June 23, 2017 at 7:03 pm
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    Fairey is the most intelligent person I've seen on this show.

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  • October 7, 2017 at 2:16 pm
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    why the fuck did this guy painted shit on my country, Portugal?
    what approvance did he got from to paint a commie soldier on a building here?

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  • December 27, 2017 at 10:20 am
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    Keep going buddy you are inspiring a lot of people, God bless you God bless your heart you are a true American.. all your haters swallow their own poison!!

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  • March 8, 2018 at 5:58 pm
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    Still don't know what this guy stands for. Lots of fluffy answers but no substance at all

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  • April 8, 2018 at 6:00 am
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    You guys may say like omg I don't believe and that's ok cause this may sound unbelievable so…..

    MY TEACHER IS FRIENDS WITH SHEPARD FAILEY

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  • August 9, 2018 at 4:49 pm
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    i really admired his artworks. first time i knew him was from the game Getting Up for ps2. man that andre poster just stuck in my head ever since. and his later works are really good tho i really like the propaganda style he put in his arts

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  • October 8, 2018 at 12:30 pm
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    2007-2008 Connecticut Yahoo mess. travel. Avatar Breath.

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  • October 15, 2018 at 9:32 pm
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    In the tough times of the Trump era, we think standing up for human rights and embracing the arts is as important as ever! That's why we turned Shepard Fairey's exhibition “Damaged” into an app! You can go through the exhibit on your phone and listen to two hours of narration by Shepard, the app also has an AR feature so you can physically walk the show. The name of the app is called Damaged and you can find it in the app store. We would love your feedback!
    http://bit.ly/Damaged_AppStore_Download
    http://bit.ly/Damaged_GooglePlayStore_Download

    Reply
  • December 10, 2018 at 4:19 am
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    My art teacher showed me this video in my class one time

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  • January 25, 2019 at 3:21 am
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    Gilpen Richmond Virginia

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  • February 28, 2019 at 5:19 pm
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    A truly lost individual.

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  • May 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm
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    his new art is pretty lame

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  • July 17, 2019 at 11:47 pm
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    This was parodied in Megamind

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