Shepard Fairey was born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1970 and currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He received a BA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1991. Shepard has had museum retrospectives at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; and has been featured in significant group exhibitions worldwide including “Art in the Streets” at MoCA, Los Angeles. His work is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego; and the National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC, among many other important public and private collections.
Shepard’s work re-contextualizes the graphic aesthetics of Soviet propaganda to critique the status-quo of subjects including political oppression, globalization and industrialization, social and cultural injustice and governmental surveillance, among other recurring themes. He is well known for his public art pieces, such as his early “Obey” posters that featured Andre the Giant, as well as his “Hope” poster for Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. A passionate community activist and promoter of art in the public sphere, Shepard has created major murals world-wide, such as his most recent mural in Detroit measuring 185 x 55 ft., the city’s largest mural to date.