Who can forget the Iconic “Hope” posters from Barack Obama’s presidential campaign? We sure can’t, and we guess that the Occupy Wall Street movement will be pleased as punch to discover that artist Shepard Fairey, the man behind the famous image, has got to work creating posters for Saturday’s Occupy Wall Street march on Times Square.
Fairey emerged on the guerilla art scene scene in the 1990s with his famous “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” sticker campaign campaign, and achieved a measure of mainstream fame with 2008’s “Hope” poster. However, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing; Fairey came under fire for both pieces over his use of other artists’ work in his posters.
With all that (hopefully) behind him now, Fairey is back on the political scene, with a new ’60s-style invitation to Saturday’s march he calls “the Awake and Inspired”. Recalling the “Hope” poster in its pose of a determined, upward-facing black woman, Occupy Wall Street undoubtedly hopes “The Awake and Inspired” has the same popular appeal of its predecessor. But in reaching back to the radical iconography of the ’60s, does the poster stand the risk of playing into conservative stereotypes of the protesters?