Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Blot vs. OBEY Giant

As long time readers of The Blot Says… know, The Blot’s a huge OBEY Giant / Shepard Fairey fan. You may have also noticed I haven’t really blogged much about Obey the past eight months. While I’ve wanted to a few times, I couldn’t bring myself to do it over the serious mixed feelings I now have towards Mr. Fairey. I know this is old news (Shepard admitted his wrongdoings on October 16, 2009), but I wanted to address it before I started blogging about upcoming Obey releases again and I didn’t want anyone to think I was glossing over the issue or condoning it.

OBEY Giant - Obama HOPE Print by Shepard Fairey
You see, the attorney in me just couldn’t get over the fact that not only did Shepard lie about the source material for his Obama HOPE image, but he also destroyed evidence to cover up those lies. (link) Fairey has had a long history of incorporating others’ work into his art, so the misappropriation of the AP photo didn’t bother me all that much. But for Fairey to lie about his actions and then actively try and conceal the truth by submitting false images and deleting other images takes his deceit to a whole other level.

The Blot Has A Posse
And that’s where I’m torn. As an art fan I still like Fairey’s work, but I have serious misgivings about the way he creates that very art which I admire. It’s a quandary I’ve struggled with the past year, but as we approach the dawn of 2010 I’ve decided it is time to forgive and forget. Therefore, I will resume blogging about Obey Giant / Shepard Fairey as of today. While I’m not sure a post like this was really needed, I think it’s helped me feel comfortable talking about the Obey Giant brand again.

What’s really been strange in all this is the realization that Fairey’s missteps have not deterred musicians and large organizations from continuing to commission work from Shep for posters, album covers and logos (see my very next post). Fairey has become a very controversial artist and his unique style is very recognizable. You would have thought his legal woes would be a deterrent, but in this day and age I guess not.