Shepard Fairey


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a powerpoint to introduce street artist shepard fairey, his work, and related issues of appropriaiton, plagiarism, etc.

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  • Note that video mentioned the issue with the Obama Poster—Fairey is also now facing a civil suit from the photographer AND a criminal suit because he lied under oath about copying the photo. BUT: one of the originals still hangs in the Smithsonian!
  • “The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined.” – From the US Government site about copyright issues: claims that his use of the photo & other works is ok, that it falls under fair use.
  • Moser’s original image on the left: Fairey’s “appropriation” on the right.Note: would be ok if Fairey’s was titled “Nouveau Black: Homage to Moser”
  • Brockman’s image left, Fairey’s image right. Brockman was a famous Swiss graphic designer. This photograph is SO distinctive: it’s an ICONIC image that helped make Brockman a highly demanded designer. Is ShepardFairey an artist, or just a clever thief? What if he QUOTED the original?
  • left is the original sticker made in the late ’80s; right is logo now used in almost all of his work. image on the right is not a stencil-made image, but can easily be made into one, and shows how original image is simplified to stencil form. Simplified images can be smooth or rough-edged: remember you don’t need to include every detail: just enough so we know what it is and feel a mood/feeling. COLOR: simple, cheap, powerful: colors of propaganda, colors everyone can see/understand, even babies.
  • Uses a lot of imagery from old war propaganda posters—posters that governments would have made to sway public opinion. It’s small and hard to see, but the guns on Fairey’s poster are exactly the same as those on the Chinese poster to the right. BOLD COLORS + SIMPLIFIED GRAPHICS = POWERFUL MESSAGE. What is Fairey saying here?
  • Once a stencil’s been used several times, it might not make as clear of an image. Instead of throwing it out, retire it: glue it into an actual work.Note the stitching, the background patterns, and the fact that image is only really 2 colors. (davis: socialist/rights activist framed for murder in the 70s?)
  • Fairey’s images have a richness to them because of the contrast between the complex, patterned background made of multiple layers (of dark colors in this case) with a simple, bold image as the foreground (in light colors in this example). Note: darkest color, black, saved for most use on TOP level: for most contrast.
  • Fairey’s exhibit is at the CAC for awhile, and he has murals up in Northside, and two places Downtown
  • Remind students that there are probably certain things they might not want to criticize if they want their pieces in the final show, and that I’d like to use examples of their work to get a real job some day 
  • Since this was my own work, I first traced it, and then modified it. You will draw your image, then start to modify it.
  • The Bridges are the most important part. They give your stencil strength, and that cool ‘stencil-y’ look.
  • The bridge through the hair is for strength. With all of the long thin pieces of hair, that part is going to become very weak.
  • Many letters need bridges to stay readable.
  • Shepard Fairey

    1. 1. SHEPARD FAIREYStencils, Street Art & Statements
    2. 2. PLAGIARISM OR APPROPRIATION?Photograph by A.P. photographer Fairey’s Portrait of ObamaManny Garcia
    3. 3. PLAGIARISM OR APPROPRIATION? Fairey’s image overlaid onto Ramirez’s photograph. Fair Use: (in art) the conditions that allow you to use material that is copyrighted by someone else without paying royalties What do you think?
    4. 4. PLAGIARISM OR APPROPRIATION?Plagiarism: Using someoneelse’s work, or a closeimitation of it, as your ownoriginal work. Ver Sacrum, Koloman Moser, Nouveau Black, ShepardFairey, 1901 2006
    5. 5. PLAGIARISM OR APPROPRIATION? LEFT: WenigerLarm, Josef Müller Brockman, 1960 RIGHT: Obey With Caution, 2006Appropriation: to adopt, borrow, recycle orsample aspects (or the entire form) of man-made visual culture. Also called‘referencing.’
    6. 6. GETTING TO STENCILSSimplification: a key concept to creatingstencils
    7. 7. TECHNIQUES & TERMS Propaganda: Communication that aims to influence public attitudes or opinions. Original Chinese Propaganda PosterGuns & Roses Stencil, 2007
    8. 8. TECHNIQUES & TERMS Retired Stencil: Stencil that’s incorporated into the work of artAngela Davis Stencil, 2007
    9. 9. TECHNIQUES & TERMS Contrast: Strong contrast is important: Bold, graphic stencil on top of detailed collaged and/or distressed backgroundPublic Works medal, 2007
    10. 10. AROUND CINCINNATIVer Sacrum by Koloman Moser,1901Outside of High Street, Reading Rd, Downtown.
    11. 11. YOUR PROJECT: STENCIL COLLAGE1. Decide on a Statement: OR ORSUPPORT CRITICIZE Make PeopleSomething Something QUESTIONOr Someone Or Someone***
    12. 12. YOUR PROJECT: STENCIL COLLAGE2. Gather Ideas: • Collect images you like (computer, your own work, magazines,etc) • What will your background look like? (Collaged? Distressed? Painted? OnLeather? on Paper? Both?) • Sketch your ideas (you’ll get a worksheet)
    14. 14. YOUR PROJECT: STENCIL COLLAGE3. Begin Making the StencilOriginal Image Image redrawn for stencilSimplify& Make it high contrast for maximum impact
    15. 15. YOUR PROJECT: STENCIL COLLAGE 4. All Islands Need Bridges! BRIDGES BRIDGESBlack areas = get cut outWhite areas = make up the stencilAll WHITE AREAS MUST BE CONNECTED to each other!Before you cut, make sure you don’t have any “whiteislands.”
    16. 16. YOUR PROJECT: STENCIL COLLAGE Ready to Cut: Image redrawn for stencil
    18. 18. FINISHED PIECESSimple Stencils on collaged backgrounds