Shepard Fairey Caves In, Revises Occupy Wall Street Poster

Shep­ard Fairey’s famous 2008 Oba­ma “Hope” poster has been the source of count­less imi­ta­tions and par­o­dies. Last week Fairey released his own par­o­dy for Occu­py Wall Street, replac­ing Oba­ma’s head with a hood­ed fig­ure in a Guy Fawkes mask, along with the words, “Mis­ter Pres­i­dent, We HOPE You’re On Our Side.” As Fairey explained on his web­site, “I see Oba­ma as a poten­tial ally of the Occu­py move­ment if the ener­gy of the move­ment is per­ceived as con­struc­tive, not destruc­tive.”

Not every­one agreed. Yes­ter­day, after a series of dis­cus­sions with one of the orga­niz­ers of the pur­port­ed­ly lead­er­less move­ment, Fairey announced he was back­ing down and drop­ping the provoca­tive mes­sage to the pres­i­dent and replac­ing it with “We Are The HOPE.” A few of the move­men­t’s orga­niz­ers report­ed­ly thought Fairey’s poster implied that Occu­py Wall Street either sup­port­ed Oba­ma or was beg­ging for his sup­port.

“As Oba­ma has raised more mon­ey from Wall Street than any oth­er can­di­date in his­to­ry, it would make us naive hyp­ocrites to sup­port him under present cir­cum­stances,” the anony­mous orga­niz­er wrote to Fairey. “As for the design, the fact that you put the 99% inside the Oba­ma O is cross­ing a sacred line. While it def­i­nite­ly looks cool, whether intend­ed or not, this sends a clear mes­sage that Oba­ma is co-opt­ing OWS.”

“I have no inter­est in pan­der­ing to Oba­ma,” respond­ed Fairey. “I see my image as a reminder to him that he has alien­at­ed his pop­ulist pro­gres­sive sup­port­ers.”

But Fairey sub­mit­ted to the pres­sure and changed his design any­way. You can read more about the exchange here, and see the altered ver­sion of Fairey’s poster below.

For more Occu­py Wall Street posters, stay tuned for our post com­ing lat­er today.…

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Comments (6)
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  • David Sutcliffe says:

    Fairey “backed down” and “sub­mit­ted to the pres­sure” is your inter­pre­ta­tion. They are judge­ments.

  • Chris says:

    OK, here comes a lit­tle rant.

    First­ly, I’m one-hun­dred per cent behind the 99%. The use of mon­ey to under­mine democ­ra­cy ought to be a crime, not the sacra­ment of some purist vision of cap­i­tal­ism; and income inequal­i­ty is an exis­ten­tial threat to the coun­try. That said, I hate these masks, which also appeared at Tea Par­ty protests.

    Do pro­test­ers real­ly think they’re doing their cause a favor wear­ing masks from a com­ic book and a ter­ri­ble movie remake? Maybe the com­ic book was quite good, I don’t know. But the point is that no one takes you seri­ous­ly in a mask.

    Fur­ther­more, the grin of the mask makes peo­ple think that you think you look cool. Wan­na bet most peo­ple don’t agree?

  • maureen says:

    These masks are per­fect, sure­ly you must see that? Nev­er seen Eyes Wide Shut? It could have been any mask, you see? But that one is friend­ly, intel­l­li­gent-look­ing and gives one face to a com­plete­ly het­eroge­nous crowd because only a mask can sym­bol­ize it with­out per­son­i­fy­ing it.

  • Chris says:

    Thanks Mau­reen. Maybe I’m wrong. I do see the intel­li­gence, but it looks a lit­tle more men­ac­ing than friend­ly to me. Then again, maybe smiles dis­con­cert me in some unusu­al way. I’ll think about what you said, and maybe check out Eyes Wide Shut again.

  • Cap says:

    I don’t know, I think his orig­i­nal mes­sage is more pow­er­ful. Not only did Oba­ma let down those who sup­port­ed him but he’s also in a bet­ter posi­tion to change it — cer­tain­ly the Repub­li­can won’t. Maybe if said “Hope you do what’s right” rather than appear­ing to ask for sup­port it would have been less con­tentious.

  • Arlene says:

    inter­est­ing dis­cus­sion.. I agree to Cap’s mes­sage ““Hope you do what’s right” rather than appear­ing to ask for sup­port it would have been less con­tentious.”

    Arlene’s Lat­est Post: Eng­lish Slang

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