BB Video: Shepard Fairey and the Obama Poster, on Inauguration Day


(Flash video embed above, MP4 download is here.)

One year ago, Pesco blogged about a cool new "socialist-realist" style poster created by street artist Shepard Fairey for the Barack Obama presidential campaign (shown at left). Fast forward to today, January 20, 2009: the day Obama will be sworn in as President of the United States.

Sean Bonner and I visited Shepard's art gallery in LA some weeks ago with Boing Boing's video team to talk with Shepard about how this image came to be. We also wanted to know what the past year has been like for the artist most of us here on the blog previously knew as "The Andre The Giant Has a Posse Guy."

The moment we walked into the space, Shepard had picked up a call on his cellphone, was staring intently into space, and uttering a lot of thoughtful "mm-hmmms." When he hung up the phone, he turned to us and smiled. I asked who he'd been on the phone with, and he explained the call was from Obama's staff, telling him for the first time that an adaptation of this same poster would be used as the official inauguration poster.

Inauguration day has come, and with it, the beginning of a new era in America. I don't know what this era will bring. I don't know what kind of president Obama will be. But I hope we achieve what Shepard's poster said: progress.


(Special thanks to Q-Burns Abstract Message for graciously allowing us to use his music in these videos, including a remix of "Angel Soup" by Cold Hands, on Blunted Funk Records.)