Obey Giant

Synopsis: The life and career of street artist, illustrator, graphic designer, activist, and founder of OBEY Clothing, Shepard Fairey.
Genre: Documentary
92 min

Shepard Fairey has

exploited a notion

that art can be anywhere

to compete with advertising,

so I don't consider it art.

Well, the guy is famous

for being a plagiarist.

It's vandalism.

Shepard Fairey is

pillaging the work

of important political

and cultural movements.

Shepard is a genius.

His artistic work overshadowed

by his alleged

criminal activity.

He employs cut and

paste as his artwork.

And at the end of the day,

it's a very empty experience.

I think he's our

generation's Warhol.

His work is too obvious.

He's reinvented

a political image

for today's world.

A wheatpaste artist is

not to be taken seriously.

The more famous he got

in the art world,

the less fans he had.

He created an icon.

From the very beginning when

he was doing Andre the Giant,

the joke was on the public.

It meant nothing.

Not only is Shepard

Fairey not an artist,

he's about the furthest

thing from art there is.

Things are not all

great in the world,

and it's not all the Carpenters

and love songs and Wings.

I grew up in the '70s,

and when I felt frustrated,

there was nothing

that seemed like

the creative analogue to that.

But when I discovered punk rock,

the Sex Pistols

talking about frustration,

the Clash talking

about frustration,

Black Flag, very angry music.

But they also

were not just angry

for the sake of being angry.

A lot of it was critiquing

the problem of conformity,


corruption of power.

And all these things

connected with me

because I grew up

in a very, very conformist town

at a conformist school,

and I was--I was frustrated.

Everything that I felt

like wasn't being addressed

in other parts of the world

and other parts of my life,

punk rock addressed.

Skateboarding too.

Skateboarding was about

creative reuse of the landscape

that was intended

for other things,

and it's aggressive.


I was inspired by

bands putting up flyers.

I was inspired by graffiti.

Graffiti culture is

all about lettering

and putting your name up.

Colors, designs, style.

-Technical, advanced.

-Just get loose.

Get loose, and when they

see you got a vicious style,

they be wanting to get

loose about it, you know,

and that's what keep it going.

And that's what sparks graffiti.


The technique of graffiti,

people going out

and doing daring

locations anonymously,

and doing it for the sake

of saying, "I exist,"

I kind of loved that.

I'm looking for

the graffiti artists.

We are all graffiti artists.

Being from South Carolina

and watching movies

like Breakin'

and Beat Street,

my assumption ignorantly was

that I had to be black or Latino

and be in a crew

where I'd practice

in a black book

until some peer said

that I was ready

to hit the streets.

You know, it's like an art gang.

To me, street art is any art

that's done in public,

but what it's really about

is democratizing art,

making art accessible,

saying that there's room

for more in public space

than just commercial advertising

and government signage.

Where you get up,

how much you get up,

how daring the placement is,

and just the coverage,

that's everything,

especially pre-internet,

because the credit

you're getting

within that world

is based on people seeing

the different

examples firsthand.

Some giant posters.

Andre the Giant.

Here we have this week

on Piper's Pit, of course,

Andre the Giant,

supposedly the biggest

man in the world ever.

It's a pleasure to have you.

Where are you from, Andre?

I'm sorry, do you speak English?


where do you come from?

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "Obey Giant" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 31 Jul 2021. <https://www.scripts.com/script/obey_giant_15059>.

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