Art & Politics / Shepard Fairey, Propagandist
“I want to be transparent that any image with an agenda (which is actually most images) is a form of propaganda. It’s just whether you try to hide that fact or whether you’re honest about it.”-Shepard FaireyMy guest this week is Shepard Fairey- he is an artist and a self-titled propagandist who is perhaps most known for his HOPE Obama Poster or for his Andre the Giant Has A Posse OBEY Campaign. If you’ve lived near any American metropolis, you’ve probably seen his work stenciled onto the sides of various buildings or as a sticker slapped on the back of a fire hydrant. Recently, his series We The People featured Latinas, Native Americans, Muslims and African Americans, and could be seen at nearly every protest and rally in the country. Shepard’s also quite the philanthropist - he and his wife Amanda started a campaign called Make America Smart Again, which called for Americans be more informed, involved, and engage in healthy dialogues with one another.For this episode, we analyzed a question from Shishuraj Karmalkar from Mumbai, India. Shishuraj asked, “How do you wrestle with the statement that artists are 'selfish' since they're off worrying about their art, and not devoting more energy to political rebellion in troubled times?” Shepard and I discussed how art can transform from something selfish to selfless, the intended (and unintended) message art can convey, and if you can ever truly divorce art from politics. He also answered an off-topic question about God with a reference to the movie Dodgeball, so that was pretty cool.If you have a question about the creative process, that you think would spawn a good conversation on this show, ask me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter tagged #creativeprocessing, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. New episodes are coming out every Tuesday through October 22, 2019.ABOUT THE GUEST:In 1989, while at Rhode Island School of Design studying for his Bachelor of Fine Art in Illustration (which he earned in 1992), Shepard Fairey created the “Andre the Giant has a Posse” sticker that later evolved into the OBEY GIANT art campaign. In 2008, his portrait of then-Democratic candidate Barack Obama became an internationally recognized emblem of hope. Since then, Fairey has painted nearly 100 public murals, become one of the most sought-after and provocative artists in the world, and changed the way people converse about art and view the urban landscape.SELECTED LINKS FOR EPISODE:Connect with Shepard Fairey:Twitter: @ObeyGiantInstagram: @ObeyGiantObeyGiant.comObeyClothing.comShepard FaireyArt Mentioned:Barack Obama ‘Hope’ Poster‘Andre the Giant Has a Posse’ CampaignWe the People’ SeriesBowery MuralGod Saves and Satan InvestsMovies/TV Shows Mentioned:Triumph of the Will (1935) *WARNING - literally Nazi Propaganda*They Live (1988)The Loudest Voice (TV Series, Showtime)Dodgeball (2004)People Mentioned:Bob Marley (Singer-Songwriter)Bob Dylan (Singer-Songwriter)Joe Strummer (Musician)Dead Kennedys (Band)The Rolling Stones (Band)Chuck D (Rapper)Barack Obama (Politician)George W. Bush (Politician)Donald Trump (Politician)Adolf Hitler (Politician)Robert Indiana (Artist)Andy Warhol (Artist)Jasper Johns (Artist)Barbara Kruger (Artist)George Orwell (Author)Ray Bradbury (Author)John Carpenter (Filmmaker)Ben Stiller (Actor)Vince Vaughn (Actor)Jason Bateman (Actor)Leni Riefenstahl (Director)
Originality & Imitation / Rian Johnson, Filmmaker
Clouds & Pipes / Yuka Honda, Sonic Songstress
About The Show
On his new ten-episode series, Joseph Gordon-Levitt will get into the nitty-gritty of how a wide variety of creative people do what they do. Listeners’ questions will inspire conversations between Gordon-Levitt and a range of creative guests, from Hollywood notables like Rian Johnson and Seth Rogen & Evan Goldberg, to behind-the-scenes heavyweights like casting director Mary Vernieu, and from political visual artist Shepard Fairey to indie sonic songstress, Yuka Honda, and more.