The artist who designed the iconic Obama poster is disappointed in the president’s performance.
When asked in an interview with Esquire about whether the president had lived up to the expectations reflected in a famous 2008 portrait, outspoken designer Shepard Fairey replied “not even close.”
“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].”
Fairey cut Obama some slack, explaining that many of the president’s larger unaccomplished promises were more the result of factors outside of his control.
“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. “I’m not giving him 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.”
Previously known for his skate shop-friendly graphic T-shirt empire Obey, Fairey’s “Hope” poster launched him into the mainstream. Although he donated most of the proceeds from the poster and subsequent graphic T-shirt, Fairey reaped the benefits of his design fame, scoring a commission for a Time magazine cover, and landing his work in the Smithsonian.
In 2009, Fairey sued the Associated Press after it accused him of violating copyright law by using an AP photo for his iconic image. Fairey ended up paying $US1.6 million to AP in the suit and serving probation after a judge ruled that he attempted to hide evidence.
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