Obama’s Presidential Inaugural Committee unveiled street artist Shepard Fairey’s design commissioned for the official inaugural poster. While Obama’s top volunteers across the country anxiously await their assigned tickets for the swearing-in ceremony, we expect Fairey will be receiving prime seats. Fairey, who came to fame with his Andre the Giant “Obey” posters, papered across the nation, created one of the most iconic symbols of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign with his lighter “Hope” image.
Publicity guru Yosi Sergant is credited with linking Fairey to the Obama effort. After Fairey printed an initial round of posters and posted the image on his website, it soon went viral. Posters and then limited edition prints soon skyrocketed in price, as collectors were eager to get their hands on the campaign memorabilia. A mixed media collage of the image was snatched up by the Smithsonian, making it the first official image of the president to be inducted into the National Portrait Gallery.
Posters are selling for $100 and 1,000 prints, signed and numbered by the artist, go for $500. All proceeds will be put toward much needed Inaugural funding, as the planned events could cost the city up to $50 million with nearly three million people expected to descend on Washington 20 January 2009.
If you won’t be around for the festivities, you can pick up your print at the Inaugural website.
Also worth adding to your collection is “Supply & Demand,”, a retrospective spanning 17 years of Fairey’s career. It’s available from Amazon or Powell’s.
by Ariston Anderson
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