In a post called “The Problem with Shepard Fairey” Tomorrow Museum blogger Joanne McNeil calls out Obama’s hand in securing the street artist’s upcoming ICA show, which opens in Boston tomorrow. Her point — that the popularity of his now iconic Hope and Progress posters is more about the image of Obama, and less about anything Fairey did to make it his own or his artistic/political vision — is an interesting one. Especially when she juxtaposes it with Tony Puryear’s poster of Hillary Clinton:
“Puryear is also taking inspiration from propaganda posters, but by using a photograph, rather than illustration, it moves beyond its source. It mocks the Communist propaganda that was the inspiration. You can see the lines on Clinton’s face, her eyelids are dropped a lit, she looks relaxed. She radiates warmth as much as power and intellect. She’s a human being, not an icon.
“There is a twist to the Clinton image. But with Shepard Fairey, what you see is what you get.”
What we’re wondering is: