St. Lawrence University
Obey Giant



In 1989, while a student at the Rhode Island School of Design, Shepard Fairey created the first "Andre the Giant Has a Posse" sticker, which has since gone viral and spawned over a million copies distributed around the world. The original design shows the wrestler André the Giant and his height and weight, 7'4" and 520 LB. Fairey was forced to stop using the image of the wrestler, and later sticker designs simply indicate "OBEY GIANT" or "OBEY." The artist writes, "The OBEY sticker attempts to stimulate curiosity and bring people to question both the sticker and their relationship with their surroundings. Because people are not used to seeing advertisements or propaganda for which the product or motive is not obvious, frequent and novel encounters with the sticker provoke thought and possible frustration, nevertheless revitalizing the viewer's perception and attention to detail." Most Shepard Fairey stickers are professionally silkscreened on vinyl and incorporate the stylistic use of red and black ink or red and blue ink on a creamy yellow background. Some anti-authoritarian stickers state, "Manufacturing Quality Dissent Since 1989" "Blind Acceptance Can Be Hazardous" "Propaganda Engineering" and "Rise Above." Revolutionary and rebel figures are often depicted, such as Aung San Suu Kyi, Che Guevara, Malcolm X, and Chinese soldiers, for example, as well as punk and rock music stars, Uncle Sam, Big Brother, and the police. Subjects in Fairey's work include peace, justice, equality, freedom, privacy, immigration reform, human rights, and the Occupy movement. Fairey also designed the iconic HOPE sticker for Barack Obama's U.S. Presidential campaign in 2008.

Providence, Rhode Island


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