The man on the poster is still president. But the artist behind the poster has moved on.
Shepard Fairey, whose stencil portrait of Barack Obama with the caption “Hope” became the defining image of the 2008 presidential campaign, told Esquire magazine in an interview published on Thursday that the politician had not lived up to the propaganda. Fairey said, “not even close.”
The Hope poster represented an unusually explicit foray into politics for the Los Angeles-based artist, who first won renown for an image of Andre the Giant with various captions, including the command “Obey.”
Fairey is not a wholesale detractor of Obama, however. Speaking to Esquire, Fairey said, “I think that he finds himself in a position where your actions are largely dictated by things out of your control.”