Overstatement of the Day?

| From a New York Times review of an art exhibit by Shepard Fairey, the street artist best known for creating the Obama “hope” poster: “Before the Saks campaign makes it painful even to think about this artist, who did more than any other to get our current president elected …” If that is remotely true, expect the salaries of all street artists to rise precipitously before the next election. [%comments]


How is this an overstatement? Fairey may well have done more than any other artist to get Obama elected. It would be overstating it to suggest he did more than any other person, regardless of profession, but I don't believe that is the author's intent.

Mr Miller

I'm entirely in agreement with Ashley.

Scott B

It depends on your definition of "artist".


Yeah, I read that as Fairey having done more than any other artist to get Obama elected, which probably isn't saying much, unless there's an artist out there who was a major donor to the campaign.


I agree with Ashley. What other artist did more for Obama? Perhaps the graphic designer(s) who worked on all the campaign logos, signage, etc., but this was most likely a team of artists and thus it would be difficult to single out any one of them for praise.


based on what I've seen at batpaintingsofbarackobama.com, I would say Fairey DID do more than any other artist. Except maybe the artist who painted Obama emerging from the ocean in a glistening white suit.


Shepard didn't do more than either George Bush or Sarah Palin did to help Obama get elected... but I guess they are not artists, at least not in the traditional sense.


Abraham Lincoln credited photographer Matthew Brady with making him President.

Brady had Lincoln pull his collar up to shorten the appearance of his long neck. After those photographs Lincoln insisted on being pictured that way.


Justin James

I have to disagree with the depiction of the "Hope" poster being what Fairey is best known for... I've been seeing "Andre the Giant has a posse" stickers in bathrooms, on busses, lampposts, etc. since I was a kid. Indeed, that's how I first learned about Fairey a few years ago, I finally decided to find out who was making these stickers which invaded every public restroom in every bar I had been to...



Street art and a salary are mutually exclusive. I'm sure Mr. Fairey would agree.


The article entitled "Overstatement of the Day?" apparently is.


The term artist is not limited to those who produce something you can hang on a wall ( or lamp post). What about musical artists? I dare say will.i.am might feel he made an equal contribution to Obama's success, with his viral "Yes, We Can" video.

Colin Toal

Didn't he get Andre the Giant elected to president of the WWE too ?


Let's just call the statement poor word choice. Obviously, in the effort to be concise writers can leave out critical words or arrange sentences strangely. When the writer reads/edits his own work, he does so in his own voice. The writer always understands himself, even when the writing isn't very clear.
As far as influential artists go; I preferred the Baroque Obama image far more than the Hope image.


I feel like most comments thus far have missed the mark.

Few could argue that Fairey has been the most influential artist in any presidential campaign to date.

The original statement in question (in my view) is that Fairey has done more than any individual, regardless of profession. I find that bit hard to swallow.

Jason Roth

I still prefer the Mad version of the poster:


What about Will.I.Am as more influential in getting Obama elected? His song was around WAY before the Obama logo and Shep Fairey's represetnations of Obama ever were. I think you guys are limited in thinking about only visual artists, but keep in mind that "artist" is a broad term. Heck, it could even incorporate Obama's speech-writers, since they are word-artists.

Jerry Waddle

While it is open for debate as the whether Shepard Fairey is the " artist, who did more than any other to get our current president elected". His enormous effect on the campaign is obvious to anyone who has been paying attention. The two most commonly used words to describe his artistic effort are "iconic" and "ubiquitous". The National Portrait Gallery in the Smithsonian has certainly seen the light.