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The OBEY sticker campaign can be explained as an experiment in Phenomenology. Heidegger describes Phenomenology as "the process of letting things manifest themselves." Phenomenology attempts to enable people to see clearly something that is right before their eyes but obscured; things that are so taken for granted that they are muted by abstract observation. The FIRST AIM OF PHENOMENOLOGY is to reawaken a sense of wonder about one's environment. The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail. The sticker has no meaning but exists only to cause people to react, to contemplate and search for meaning in the sticker. Because OBEY has no actual meaning, the various reactions and interpretations of those who view it reflect their personality and the nature of their sensibilities. Many people who are familiar with the sticker find the image itself amusing, recognizing it as nonsensical, and are able to derive straightforward visual pleasure without burdening themselves with an explanation. The PARANOID OR CONSERVATIVE VIEWER however may be confused by the sticker's persistent presence and condemn it as an underground cult with subversive intentions. Many stickers have been peeled down by people who were annoyed by them, considering them an eye sore and an act of petty vandalism, which is ironic considering the number of commercial graphic images everyone in American society is assaulted with daily. Biography Shepard Fairey, born Frank Shepard Fairey, February 15, 1970, in Charleston, South Carolina. In 1992, while still an illustration student at RISD, Fairey started his first business venture, Alternate Graphics, to showcase his emerging design and silkscreen printing talents. He created stickers, t-shirts, skateboards, and posters which were all available via black and white mail order catalogs that he distributed. He also did small commercial printing jobs for clients to help cover some of his expenses. In 1994, Helen Stickler created a documentary film, Andre the Giant Has a Posse, that focused on Fairey and the growing phenomenon of his subversive stickers and posters. By 1995, Fairey had two or three full time employees, two of whom were long time friends from Charleston, whom he had known through his many years of skateboarding. During this time, he also created a small sister brand, Subliminal Projects, with Blaize Blouin, and released several skateboard and poster designs using this moniker. Fairey created a skateboard video, ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), that showcased the small group of skateboarders that he sponsored via Alternate Graphics. In 1996, Fairey moved from Providence, RI, to San Diego, CA, to partner with Andy Howell in Giant Distribution. Shortly thereafter, Fairey partnered up with Dave Kinsey, Phillip De Wolff, and Howell to form First Bureau of Imagery, FBI, a branding, marketing and design firm targeting the emerging action sports market. In 1999, FBI was dissolved and Fairey, Kinsey, and De Wolff formed BLK/MRKT, another branding, marketing, and design firm. During this time, Fairey met his future wife, Amanda Ayala, who began working with him. In 2001, the BLK/MRKT offices were moved from San Diego to Los Angeles and expanded to include a small art gallery. De Wolff's partnership was purchased by Fairey and Kinsey, who became the sole propietors of the operation, now doing business from an office in the historic Wiltern building located in Koreatown. In 2003, Fairey and Kinsey decided to make a professional split; Fairey kept the location and most of the employees, renamed his agency Studio Number One, and renamed the art gallery Subliminal Projects. Kinsey took the name BLK/MRKT and its gallery, and relocated it to Culver City, CA, where it is still in operation. In 2004, Fairey teamed up with long time friend Roger Gastman to create a quarterly publication, Swindle. The magazine documents pop culture, fashion, and music, and each issue is released in both soft cover and hard cover. In 2006, Fairey released a comprehensive, hard cover monograph, Supply and Demand, that documents much of his personal and professional design work. The entire book was designed in-house at Studio Number One and it is published by Ginko Press. It is currently in its third edition. Fairey married Amanda Ayala in December of 2001 in Charleston, SC. In June 2005 Amanda gave birth to their first child, daughter Vivienne, named after punk fashion icon, Vivienne Westwood. In January of 2008, their second daughter, Madeline, was born. Education Shepard Fairey attended Porter Gaud, a private, college preparatory shool, in Charleston, SC, for several years before tranferring to Wando High School, in Mt. Pleasant, SC, in 1985. He completed two years at Wando and then again transferred, but across the country, to ISOMATA (Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts) in Ildyllwild, CA, for his senior year. He officially graduated from ISOMATA 1988. After high school, he attended RISD (Rhode Islande School of Design) and majored in Illustration. It was during his years at RISD that he first created the original 'Andre the Giant has a Posse' sticker and also "liberated" his first billboard with an image of Andre. Fairey graduated from RISD in 1992 with a Bachelors of Arts in Illustration

Comment Wall

25 results
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"Love your work"
By kitteh03, 4/12/2013 about
I appreciate the work that you have done through the years. I am so glad I got to meet with you in San Diego for the AIGA show. Keep on designing.
"SK8"
By Insomniak, 9/10/2011 about
Those skate decks are sick!
"Your work"
By Bostonface, 7/20/2011 about
I like your work....but damn it man, that political stuff turned me away....especially the pro Obama thing. Read 'Atlas Shrugged' ....maybe you'll come around.
By Jeremy Shock, 6/23/2011 about
Word. Glad to see you on here.
By Liz Illa, 4/10/2011 about
Hello! I am a big fan of your work. My husband and I both have several of your shirts. I love the statements you make with it. Thank you for making art.
▂ ▃ ▅ ▆ ▀▄▀▄▀▄★¸.•’☆ All the Stars ☆ ¸.•’★▄▀▄▀▄▀ ▆ ▅ ▃ ▂
"great store"
By Ripper2009, 2/1/2011 about
nice designs
By stkncb29, 12/26/2010 about
please please make some stickers!? i want stickers!!!
"[ content smudged ]"
By PencilWizard, 12/10/2010 about
nice work
"hi there"
By SFdesignstudio, 12/1/2010 about
first came across your 'obey' in Nelson BC, and wondered about it_what it meant. It wasn't until I saw Banksy's documentary that I go it. It was an inspiration. Keep the creative juices flowing! Peace out! http://www.zazzle.com/sfdesignstudio*
"Dis-Obey the Giant!"
By Malky53, 9/21/2010 about
Great work as always. Have both your books also. Malky
By neslehcim, 7/6/2010 about
Superb art work here!
"i love it"
By bigsnkby, 3/26/2010 about
i love ur street art i grabs the eye on point!
By floppypoppygifts, 12/7/2009 about
Always wish I would've made it to see you at Ducky Waddles!
"Amazing Art"
By Pufahl, 5/26/2009 about
Love your stuff!!!!
"Posters, Postcards and Stickers"
By DarrinManuell, 3/11/2009 about
I wont POSTERS, POSTCARDS and STICKERS. Sincerely, Darrin Manuell
"awesome work dude"
By LostInTheWoods, 2/18/2009 about
"Hey man"
By StudioAG, 2/12/2009 about
Rather than tell you what you already know, I thought I would say, "what's up".
"he does good stuff"
By mike3488, 2/10/2009 about
Check out some of my new illustrations at my zazzle store here: let me know what you think!
"Nice to see you represented here"
By jiveafro, 1/28/2009 about
Keep it going Brother!
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