Shepard Fairey (b. 1970)
Best known for the Barack Obama “Hope” poster made ubiquitous during the 2008 Presidential election, Shepard Fairey is perhaps the most prominent American street artist working today. His stickers, screen prints, stencils, collages and posters line urban streets and gallery walls. Working in the tradition of artists like Andy Warhol, Fairey is equal parts political activist, graphic designer and businessman. After attracting attention with his “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” stickers in 1989, Fairey developed the now omnipresent “Obey Giant” campaign. His aesthetic is inspired by the skateboarding culture of his youth in Charleston, South Carolina. Fairey currently works in Los Angeles, where he founded Studio Number One, a prominent graphic design company. In 2009, he received a retrospective at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston. His work is also featured in the permanent collections of many major museums, including the National Portrait Gallery (Washington, D.C.), The Museum of Modern Art (NYC), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London).