Obama’s “Hope” Poster Artist Comes Out Against Cancel Culture

(PatriotWise.com) — The artist who created the iconic Hope portrait of President Obama has spoken out against cancel culture and the erosion of free speech. Shepard Fairey said, “I think a lot of people are fearful about having an opinion in their work that others might disagree with. Cancel culture is a problem in that people become fearful about what topics they think they are allowed to address and in what ways.” He added that he is not going to listen to any demands that he be silenced because he is a straight, white male and that all people should be treated with dignity. He said so-called cancel culture is narrow-minded and exclusionary.

The street artist has created several famous portraits, including those of Martin Luther King and Bob Marley.

His statement comes as the largest-ever exhibit of his work opens in France. Lyon’s Musée Guimet is hosting the exhibit entitled “1001 Reasons To (Dis)OBEY: The Art of Shepard Fairey.” He is often known by the pseudonym “Obey”.

In promotion of the event, Fairey’s work is described as exploring themes of justice and the power of lobbies. On display will be posters, paintings, skateboards, films, and other objects that constitute 40 years of his work. French President Emmanuel Macron has previously welcomed the artist to the Elysee Palace in Paris and his painting featuring the famed French phrase “Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite” was pictured hanging in the President’s office.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1970, he started his career by drawing customized t-shirts and skateboards. He graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992 and said his primary inspirations are Andy Warhol, Alexander Rodtchenko, Diego Rivera, Robbie Conal, and Barbara Kruger. His first major work was of the 7 feet 4 inches tall French professional wrestler Andre the Giant. The stenciled piece was entitled “Andre the Giant Has a Posse” and has been copied and distributed on posters and stickers hundreds of thousands of times.

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