KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE : Obama Poster Artist in Legal Trouble

Tonite’s “GIVE ME AN EFFING BREAK” goes to this news story on the Yahoo homepage

I’m sure many of you have seen Los Angeles based street artist, Shepard Fairey’s work in a variety of mediums… The artist made his work known to the general public in a Che Guevara-esque portrait of Obama which has since been printed on tee shirts, stickers and posters and had been used to raise money for the Obama campaign. Fairey’s work was based on an image he found on Google which was originally printed in the Associated Press.

Obama Poster

Now, after such a historic election, people are bidding thousands of dollars on EBay for original posters with the print. The design will even be featured in the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston

Such high monetary demand made the Associated Press bring out their fancy suit lawyers stating Fairey didn’t license the image and that they deserve a cut of the profits.

This is just another greedy control game played by corporations that are holding on to the very thin strands of corporate enterprise vs artistic expression. Clearly, the photo was “inspired” by someone/thing the artist looked at – as most portraits are….

What’s next? A farmer suing a painter for making a painting of his barn?

If you ask me, I think the graphic representation of Obama holds a different expression…. more optimistic and approachable than the photograph.


3 Responses to “KEEP IT ON THE BROWNLOWE : Obama Poster Artist in Legal Trouble”

  1. 1 The Bearded Traveler
    February 5, 2009 at 1:59 am

    AP must be gettin’ desperate from the decline in paper-journalism sales.

  2. 2 gaycondo
    February 5, 2009 at 10:22 am

    cry cry

  3. 3 dood
    February 15, 2009 at 9:54 am

    although I’m not defending the AP, since they are a corporate media whore borg that feels no pain, and that steals such photos from the photographers with shitty contracts that take too much of the profits away from the photographers….

    still the comparison being made here is wrong. shepherd didn’t paint it from scratch. he painted it right over the top of the photograph. that’s like doing a paint by numbers book and then trying to sell the end result as “original” artwork. the likeness and infrastructure of the image was already set before fairy did anything with it, he added nothing but different solid colors to it. if he at least pointilized it or did some boxed out impression piece of it then great, but when you take a photo and the slap a few solid colors of paint over it, that’s not really enough to differentiate it from what it was in the first place I don’t think. people still mainly see the likeness that the actual artist (the photographer) captured with his trigger finger when they look at the obama posters. the fact that fairy changed the color scheme slightly is not important… window dressing.

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