[image-1]Charleston native Shepard Fairey has a new documentary, Obey Giant, produced by documentary filmmaker James Moll and actor James Franco, coming out this Sat. Nov. 11 on Hulu. The flick’s IMBD page describes Obey Giant as “a documentary profiling the life and work of artists Shepard Fairey, following his roots in punk rock and skateboarding to the creation of the iconic Obama HOPE poster.”
[content-1] Also set to open this Saturday is Fairey’s biggest gallery show ever, Damaged, held in a Chinatown warehouse. The New York Times reported on Fairey’s new exhibition last week, “The mood of the exhibition: what happens when hope gets trampled but not killed.” [embed-1] The Charleston native splashed onto the politically inspired art scene with his 2008 “Hope” poster, which, for most viewers, seemed to capture the optimism inherent in Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. That image later came to haunt Fairey; in 2012 Fairey admitted to fabricating documents and lying in a civil lawsuit brought against him by the Associated Press. According to the NYT, Fairey issued an apology for evidence tampering in Obey Giant, describing that period of his life as, “the first time I felt so overwhelmed that I did something cowardly.”
[content-4]Earlier this year Fairey created a poster series, We the People, designed to be healing and inclusive in the face of president Trump’s election. He told PBS Newshour, “Art, on the other hand, is healing and inclusive, whether topically it celebrates humanity, or whether it’s just compelling visuals to make a human connection.”
[content-2]Damaged will feature 200 new paintings, prints, and illustrations, with pieces that focus on topics that range from Wall Street excesses to destructive environmental policies. NYT writer Jori Finkel describes some of the new work as “surprisingly friendly,” featuring idealized images of African-America, Mexican-American, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern women.
“As angry as I am, I think that in times of division, scapegoating and hatefulness, it’s important to look for common humanity,” says Fairey. “I think respecting human dignity is really punk rock right now.”