August 10, 2009

Shepard Fairey — who made the famous Obama "Hope" poster — thinks the Joker Obama poster is "great."

"The artwork is great in that it gets a point across really quickly. The Joker is a sinister, evil character that can't be trusted. And if they want to make that parallel with Obama — bam."

Somehow the L.A. Times sees fit to headline the article "Shepard Fairey has 'doubts' about intelligence of Obama Joker artist." The intelligence doubt is actually a "grammar" point, that the caption should be "socialist," not "socialism," because it's a picture of a man, not his belief system. Hmmm... but Mr. Fairey, your poster of Obama has the word "Hope" as the caption. If it's an error, you made it too. If it's a sign of low intelligence, why should I listen to you, a man of low intelligence?

32 comments:

Meade said...

Obama's a member of a northern Arizona Native American tribe?

Revenant said...

If it's an error, you made it too.

Wouldn't that depend on whether he used "hope" as a noun or a verb? Was he saying that Obama symbolized hope... or instructing us to hope Obama won?

traditionalguy said...

The Joker/Socialism character does represent an evil underground system more than just one screwed up person, like the Charles Manson character represents an evil manson family system more than just one screwed up person. This is only another pretense at a rational misunderstanding by an LA Times writer who cannot freely speak his mind.

hillbilly said...

Even better to rip off Fairey:
http://bradwofford.com/nobama/ObeyObama_big.jpg

Scott M said...

That poster is going to famous for more than it's 15 minutes. It is going to come up and keep coming up over and over again over, hopefully, the next 3.5 years.

One thing that brings to mind...first term presidents are generally restrained because they want to get re-elected. If this is restrained...whooo...

garage mahal said...

"Settle" would have been a much more apropos. Or "Crumbs".

Lem said...

The ism may have been an attempt to portray Obama as a victim. That way it may be perceived as less racial, less threatening.

Lem said...

When you attack Obama you have to be mindfull that it may be interpreted racially.
Its like giving Obama a mulligan at each hole.

JAL said...

How'd you like those Sox tonight Lem?

Sorry. Threadjack. But Lem needs encouragement when he can get it ;-)

Stephanie said...

((When you attack Obama you have to be mindfull that it may be interpreted racially. ))

Oh hells no...

On reflection, since they cry racism every time a criticism is made, it has lost all meaning and makes the general public call bullshit...

so still hells no... let the uncensored criticisms continue. They are being interpreted properly by the general public.

Marcia said...

Wasn't there a bet last fall between a couple of commenters here about whether, if Obama won (which I hear is what happened), people would be accused of racism whenever they criticized the President?

The Crack Emcee said...

I remember someone here (I don't remember who) asking about the political meaning behind the Obama/Joker poster, and me saying, "You've got to think of it as art to understand it", or something like that. Now that artists are speaking up about it, I feel great to know (and show) my instincts are so spot-on.

I really do feel that part of the reason so many miss my point of view - or my blog's - is because there are so few artists out there. (I've said, Ann's adherence to art is what i like about her.) The fluidity of mind it takes, to create something truly meaningful, is so rare that most can't keep up, engaging in warfare against what they think is happening, or being said, based on the rigid ideas they have in their tiny, uncreative, cubical-sized minds about a given subject. I HAVE to be saying what they think - that's the only possibility - when I don't think like them at all.

The Obama/Joker poster is brilliant - straight and to the point - and it deserves every bit of the attention it's garnered. I respect Shepard Fairey much, much more for recognizing it, as well. He's not a propagandist - he's an artist.

And more than welcome at The Macho Response

Synova said...

It sounds like by "great" he means "effective." Not a value judgment.

Synova said...

Or in other words... What Crack said.

But I still think that artists that depend on shock or revulsion are pikers.

daubiere said...

The joker poster isn't brilliant art, its an inept analogy. The heath Ledger joker was a destructive anarchist. Obama and socialism are about control and statism. they want their destruction to be orderly and completely under their control.

Socialism is like Two-Face.

Sweat Bee said...

Have to love how the article insinuated that it could have been done by a "kid with a pirated copy of Photoshop." Because only known artists get their parents to buy it for them?

His point that the poster needs to say "socialist" because Obama didn't create socialism doesn't make any sense. I guess Obama invented the concept of hope right after he finished helping Al Gore put the finishing touches on that internet thing.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Synova : But I still think that artists that depend on shock or revulsion are pikers.

An interesting statement, because there's nothing particularly shocking or revolting about the image, unless you feel certain ways about Obama or the office of the President.

I think the strongest reaction would come from people who have worshipful feelings towards Obama and those who are trying to hide feelings of racism.

The picture is sort of like an ink-blot test or even a beam of light, illuminating certain people that shouldn't be trusted.

In that respect it's probably even a greater piece of art than the "Obama Hope" picture.

And if anyone wants to argue that the picture is actually shocking or revolting, I would remind them of the iPhone app that lets you turn pictures of people into the Joker. Didn't hear protests about that.

Lem said...

How'd you like those Sox tonight Lem?

They were great thanks.

John Burgess said...

I'm with Lem.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Artists that depend on shock or revulsion are pikers."

Depends on the environment they're working in. I mean, for me, once I understood that people are seriously depicting the con of NewAge with the highest aspirations of humanity, well, sorry Synova, but that's pretty much a mandate to start screaming, "Look out, gutter, here I come!"

You'll be happy to know, though, I do have another vision of art in my head: one without sex, or violence, or anything negative, that I think will eventually embarrass other's attempts at being inspiring. Once I can get over that desire - to use it for that end - I'll consider implementing it, but not until.

"The joker poster isn't brilliant art, its an inept analogy. The heath Ledger joker was a destructive anarchist. Obama and socialism are about control and statism. they want their destruction to be orderly and completely under their control."

Man, along with the charge of racism - hidden or otherwise - you guys have GOT to let that go. It's a perfect example of what I meant by "tiny, uncreative, cubical-sized" thinking. It's art, not politics, and should just be taken for face value.

daubiere said...

if it's not politics then leave the politician out of it. But a poster with a political figure on it is politics whether you or art likes it or not.

Kirby Olson said...

Socialists believe in socialism, and they are both the problem to which the solution is individualism and true liberalism going back to Madison and Locke. If FDR was a socialist, then certainly OBAMA is a socialist, but I don't see why the artist chose The Joker, because OBAMA has no sense of humor, and he's not a sociopath who just wants to create chaos.

He wants to create a totally planned society like the one in Lois Lowry's The Giver.

sierra said...

On the other hand, "Hopeful" would have been kind of lame. "Hopeless" is more like it these days.

sierra said...

The guy's name is "Fairey"? The guy must have been teased mercilessly in school.

Synova said...

When I say artists that depend on shock and revulsion, I mean artists that DEPEND on shock and revulsion.

Shock and revulsion are easy. That doesn't mean that they can't be done very well or that something is bad *because* it is shocking.

Happy fluffy bunnies are *hard*. Most "happy" art is as soul killingly horrible as the unicorn pron you linked to. Ack! Talk about "things that cannot be unseen!"

The Crack Emcee said...

"If it's not politics then leave the politician out of it. But a poster with a political figure on it is politics whether you or art likes it or not."

Bullshit. Art is art. It has no parameters. There's no "it must have this" or "this must be left out" component. Just look at the damn thing and react - that's all art asks of you.

Geez.

The Crack Emcee said...

Take my song "Democracy Sucks":

As a political statement, I can hardly stand to listen to it - filled as it is with outright lies and distortions - but, as art, it's probably one of the proudest moments I've ever had, for several reasons:

1) It's fully realized, though I wrote the whole thing - lyrics, music, etc. - on a napkin that morning and recorded it, live, that night.

2) It's pure Punk.

3) It's a great demonstration of my mastery of the genre, which a lot of black artists fail at, miserably. (You should hear my country!)

4) It's just plain good.

BD said...

IMO, the poster isn't directed at Obama, it's directed at what he's selling, which is "Socialism."

The "Joker" make up is like a 'lie detector lens' - the viewer sees what pretty, smooth, well-spoken Barry is really offering.

It's not about Barry - it's about the product.

Methadras said...

Of course he should think it's great. It is the complete antithesis of his hopey changey poster. Where his poster conveyed the saccharine lie of the person portrayed in it while the Obama Joker poster was like pouring acid on it and revealing the true nature underneath. A twisted, sociopathic, socialist clown. I liked it the instant I saw it.

Glen said...

Chaos
Fear
Death
The name of an alien concept
The face of that alien concept

Bruce Hayden said...

I don't see people really thinking through that the Joker, esp. this one, was an anarchist, and not a socialist. Rather, I think that it highlights that Obama is two-faced - he said one thing, and is doing something quite different. (Actually, he didn't say all that much different from what he is doing, just no one in the center to the right believed him when he said where he was coming from).

So, maybe the Jack Nicholson Joker would have been more appropriate, but this one is edgier and more current. And, as I said, it emphasizes the two faced nature of President Obama and his Hope and Change that wasn't.

Anil Maliyekkel said...

Well, the Joker did blow up a hospital in the movie, and Obama is trying to blow up our health care system.