Shepard Fairey - Make art, not war

Artist: Shepard Fairey
Materials: Lithograph
Dimensions (cm): 92 x 61
Signature: Signed lower right and dated '24 lower
Frame: Unframed
Stock No: 1426
Price: £50

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Genre: Poster


This is what the artist’s own commercial website, Obey, says about the poster:

This print, created during the Iraq war, is an alternative phrase inspired by popular 1960s anti-war mantra,  “make love, not war.” In this case, Fairey asserts the need for creative rather than destructive acts. The art nouveau style of the image is an additional reference to the influence of art nouveau on hippie and psychedelic art of the ‘60s, including many anti-Vietnam war posters.

Encased within a floral garland, the female figure appears more self-assured and real rather than ethereal. The placement of two paintbrushes below her portrait not only refers to a classical tool of art production but resembles spears, which when read alongside the directive to “obey” that appears on her neck, simultaneously makes the otherwise palatable message more pointed.