Reading The Pictures is dedicated to the analysis of news photos and media images.
August 6, 2009

Fairey's "Obama So Far"

Obama RS Fairey.jpg

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I’m wondering if Shepard Fairey’s illustration on the Rolling Stone cover — an update on HOPE — actually represents a sense of disappointment and a subtle dig.

Surely Obama would take offense at “too easily,” especially the way it makes “compromise” sound like capitulation. (I’d imagine Obama saying he strives for “consensus” and that there’s nothing easy about it.) And then, given the media’s preoccupation with celebrity, did Fairey render the stakes here as having less to do with the public good than with the fate of a halo?

Here are Fairy’s comments on the illustration, by the way, including his reference to Gilbert Stuart’s painting as inspiration.

(Revised 11:35 pm PST)

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