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VIDEO: The American artist behind the Obama 'Hope' poster has created a huge mural in Sydney

Artist Shepard Fairey and the mural he created for Vivid Sydney. Photo: Ken Leanfore/Destination NSW

As this year’s Vivid Sydney closed on Saturday night, organisers left the city with a permanent reminder of this year’s festival thanks to American artist Shepard Fairey.

Fairey, a street artist, activist and founder of OBEY Clothing, is best known for the “Hope” poster that became the iconic visual of Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.

His work for Vivid, Peace Waratah, is 44 metres high x 28 metres wide, on the side of a building at 309 George Street in the CBD, opposite the Ivy hotel.

Shepard Fairey’s ‘Peace Waratah’ mural on George Street. Photo: Ken Leanfore/Destination NSW

Fairey was in Sydney for the talk series Vivid Ideas, and there are two places in the city you can see his other works. The Printed Matters exhibition, at the Old Rum Store, 10-12 Kensington Street Precinct, Chippendale, which runs until 9 July, features his fine art, while Revolutions, outdoors at the Darling Quarter precinct between the Commonwealth Bank buildings, has a series of his music-inspired artworks.

Peace and harmony are themes Fairey deals with all the times and he included the waratah, the state’s floral emblem, drawn to the fact that it’s “incredibly hardy”, he explained.

“The Peace Waratah highlights the better side of our nature as humans, with the flower as a symbol of beauty and endurance,” he said.

Vivid Sydney created this time lapse of the construction of Fairey’s mural:

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