Shepard Fairey, also known as Obey, was born in 1970 in Charleston in the United States.
He plunged into the world of graphic design at the age of 14 by drawing images that were flocked on t-shirts and skateboards.
Influenced by the work of Andy Warhol and the Russian artist Alexander Rodchenko, he naturally turned to art studies. Thus, at the end of the 1980s, Obey and a group of friends from the Rhode Island School of Design created a series of stickers and posters based on the figure of the wrestler André the Giant, which they clandestinely pasted by the thousands on the walls of American cities. It is one of the first and most important “viral” campaigns of Street Art which shows the striking capacity of this new form of clandestine expression.
His work is recognized worldwide during the 2008 American presidential campaign with the creation of the HOPE poster of Barack Obama which will become an iconic image of the campaign. The President personally thanked him for the influence his poster had during the presidential elections. The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston considers him one of the best and most influential street art artists of the moment. However, while he is one of the pioneers of street art, his work is considered by the law to be an infringement of artistic property. During some of his setbacks with the law, this does not prevent his exhibitions in various museums to double in attendance.