New Shepard Fairey Obama on cover of Time Magazine

From Boston.com: Propaganda of the year


Barack Obama is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year and for the cover they’ve chosen a new Shepard Fairey work.

“Our cover portrait is by the street artist Shepard Fairey, whose roots are in the skateboarding world and whose early poster of then Senator Obama became the great populist image of the campaign,” editor Rick Stengel writes in his opening letter. “With this cover, Fairey has now created a new iconic image of the President-elect — a rich, multilayered poster that echoes but then expands on his original.”

The piece by the Boston Globe, Propaganda of the year, disagrees with the selection of Fairey’s work for the cover saying:

Not only has Time abdicated a journalistic opportunity to freshly interpret Obama’s significance in visual terms, but it outsourced the work to the campaign itself: the graphic equivalent of headlining an Obama profile “Change We Can Believe In.”

I don’t think we’re missing a whole lot from Time’s interpretation.  Most likely we’d have yet another photograph of Obama on the cover.  Time’s already done that- Obama’s picture has been on the cover of half of Time Magazine’s covers this year!  The Shepard Fairey image captures the spirit of the campaign and the idealism behind the movement that put Obama in the White House.

Shepard Fairey created his original Hope work on his own without involvement of the campaign because he felt strongly about Obama and what he stood for.  This idea is mirrored by the many who volunteered and donated their time and their efforts to the Obama campaign.

I am a huge fan of Shepard Fairey’s work which I found through his Obama posters.  I would love to add this print to my collection when it becomes available.  I think in many ways this new image is a more sophisticated, realistic portrait than the iconic Hope poster.

UPDATE 12/19: Added Time.com: Icon-maker Shepard Fairey

Thumbnail image for Obama-hope.jpg 

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  • Reply Citykin December 17, 2008 at 9:48 pm

    I like the new image better mostly I think because of the mouth being partially open and thus like he is in motion.

  • Reply MT December 18, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    You know, after looking at the two more, I think I agree with you. I just want want of the original hope ones because they’re so iconic.

  • Reply a35mmlife December 21, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    That Boston Globe piece is off indeed. Shepard’s piece is news in of itself. Its almost as if they opted to recognize Shepard as “Artist of the Year” by having him do the cover… which he quite clearly has become…

  • Reply MT December 23, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    It’ll be interesting to look back years from now to see how Shepard’s work is recognized because of his work this year.

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