Tags: shepard fairey | hope | poster | artist | obama | letdown

Shepard Fairey, 'Hope' Poster Artist, Calls Obama a Letdown

Image: Shepard Fairey, 'Hope' Poster Artist, Calls Obama a Letdown
This January 17, 2009 file photo shows artist Shepard Fairey unveiling his portrait of then US president-elect Barack Obama before it was installed at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 29 May 2015 07:08 AM

Shepard Fairey created President Barack Obama's iconic "Hope" poster during his first run for president in 2008, but now the Los Angeles street artist says Obama hasn't lived up to the poster's symbolism.

Fairey, whose work has been featured in the United States and England, told Esquire magazine the Obama Administration has been a letdown over the past eight years. When asked if Obama lived up to the "Hope" poster, Fairey said, "Not even close."

"Obama has had a really tough time, but there have been a lot of things that he's compromised on that I never would have expected," Fairey told Esquire. "I mean, drones and domestic spying are the last things I would have thought (he'd support). I've met Obama a few times, and I think Obama's a quality human being, but I think that he finds himself in a position where your actions are largely dictated by things out of your control."

Fairey said the president needs to be held accountable for his term in office, and added that the cash involved in politics makes it difficult to bring about change.

"I'm not giving (Obama) a pass for not being more courageous, but I do think the entire system needs an overhaul and taking money out of politics would be a really good first step," said Fairey.

In 2012, Fairey was given two years of probation in U.S. district court in New York and was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine in his criminal contempt case involving the "Hope" poster, reported the Los Angeles Times. He also had to complete 300 hours of community service, but avoided jail time.

Fairey confessed in 2009 that he destroyed documents and submitted false images in his legal battle over the poster with The Associated Press. The Times reported that he had entered a guilty plea in February 2012 to one count of criminal contempt for destroying documents, manufacturing evidence and other misconduct.

The "Hope" poster was inspired by a 2006 photograph taken by The Associated Press when Obama was an U.S. senator from Illinois and the news agency sued for copyright infringement.

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Shepard Fairey created President Barack Obama's iconic "Hope" poster during his first run for president in 2008, but now the Los Angeles street artist says Obama hasn't lived up to the poster's symbolism.
shepard fairey, hope, poster, artist, obama, letdown
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2015-08-29
Friday, 29 May 2015 07:08 AM
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