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Beyond Obama: Shepard Fairey at Boston’s ICA

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On Sunday, I went to the Shepard Fairey exhibit at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. Even if you're not familiar with Fairey's name, you have probably seen his work. He's the one who created the iconic Obama poster, which has now been acquired by the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. While this exhibit, Shepard Fairey: Supply and Demand, has a version of Obama, it also has much, much more (including a not-so-flattering rendition of Bush). The retrospective begins with Fairey's "Obey Giant" campaign, which promoted 7-ft.-4-in. wrestler Andre the Giant. What was most striking to me, however, were the wall-sized, anti-war paintings like the one above. The longer you look at them, the more graphics and patterns you'll notice. His work also takes on capitalism and religion.

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The good news is that the Fairey exhibit will be at the ICA through August 16th, so you have plenty of time to get yourself to Beantown. Meanwhile, if you're a fan of Fairey's work, you'll love Paste Magazine's Obamicon.Me, a website that allows you to upload a photo and turn into a Fairey-style image complete with your own slogan on the bottom. Tip: Try to choose a picture without much going on in the background, or at least with hardly anything right around your head.

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