Shepard Fairey (American, b.1970) is a renowned graphic artist known for his work on the images of Andre the Giant and the word obey. Fairey was born in Charleston, SC, and he became interested in art as a young man, when he started to use his drawings on T-shirts and skateboards. Fairey's father is a doctor, and his mother is a realtor. The artist attended Idyllwild Arts Academy in Palm Springs, CA, and graduated in 1988. He earned his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, RI, in 1992.

While in school, Fairey held a part-time job in a skateboarding shop; the job fit well with the budding artist's interest in street culture and graffiti. During this time, the artist was also interested in punk music, and when a friend asked him to explain and demonstrate the creation of a stencil, he chose to use the banal image of Andre the Giant on a newspaper ad for the demonstration. Soon after that, Fairey introduced his pieces to the streets via Graffiti Art. Two of Fairey's well-known pieces are Obey (1992) and Hope (2008). Hope is an iconic portrait of the American president Barack Obama that Fairey produced during the 2008 American presidential campaign.

Fairey has been involved in both solo and group exhibitions in diverse places. He has held solo exhibitions in Capsule, Birmingham, England (2000); Kantor Gallery Window, New York, NY (2003); and Merry Karnosky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2007). Examples of his group exhibitions include those held at CPOP Gallery, Detroit, MI, (2001); Ducky Waddles Emporium, Encinitas, CA (2004); and OXOP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN (2006). Fairey received the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award in 2009 for his Hope poster. The artist has been involved in different controversies, mainly related to the allegations that he uses other artists' work without permission. Fairey was commissioned by Time Magazine in 2011 to design a cover for the magazine. Fairey is represented by Irvine Contemporary gallery in Washington, DC. The artist lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.

Timeline

1970
Born in Charleston, South Carolina
1988
Graduated from the Idyllwild School of Music and the Arts, Idyllwild, CA
1992
Earned a BFA in Illustration from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, USA
2008
Fairey's HOPE poster was used during Barack Obama’s presidential campaign
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

Exhibitions

2013
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2013:
Cash, Cans & Candy, Gallery Hilger NEXT, Vienna, Austria
20 Horse Years: The Horse Hospital, London, England
Urban Art Biennale 2013 - Urban Art Biennale, Völklingen, Germany
At home I´m a tourist, Colección de Selim Varol - Centro de Arte Contemporáneo Málaga, Spain
2012
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2012:
Sound & Vision, StolenSpace Gallery, London, England
Early Works, Lust Gallery, Vienna, Austria
a print selection, Galerie Kasten, Mannheim, Germany
2011
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2011:
Your Ad Here, V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Screenprints, Belgrave Gallery, St Ives, England
2010
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2010:
May Day, Deitch Projects, New York, NY, USA (solo exhibition)
Supply and Demand: 20 Year Retrospective, CAC Cincinnati, Ohio; traveled to the Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
2009
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2009:
Supply and Demand: 20 Year Retrospective, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
A New Mural Project, Country Club / Iconoclast Editions, Ohio, USA
2008
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2008:
Duality of Humanity, White Walls, San Fransisco, CA, USA
Imperfect Union, Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo exhibition)
2007
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2007:
E Pluribus Venom, Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York, NY, USA (solo exhibition)
Nineteeneightyfouria, StolenSpace Gallery, London, England (solo exhibition)
Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
2006
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2006:
Wax Poetics Gallery, Burbank, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
White Walls Gallery, San Francisco, CA , USA (solo exhibition)
Maxalot Gallery, Barcelona, Spain (solo exhibition)
Galerie Magda Danysz, Paris, France (solo exhibition)
OXOP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, USA
New Art Center, Newtonville, MA, USA
Galerie de Jour Anges B, Paris, France
2005
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2005:
Hillwood Art Museum, Brookville, NY, USA
Voice 1156 Gallery, San Diego, CA, USA
P4 Space, Milan, Italy
Copro Nason Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Beautiful Losers, Costa Mesa, CA, USA
Misanthropy Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Galerie de Jour Agnes B, Paris, France
EXIT Gallery, Hong Kong, China (solo exhibition)
DC Gallery, Denver, CO, USA (solo exhibition)
Hard Rock Café Gallery, Orlando, FL, USA (solo exhibition)
Toyroom Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
OX-OP Gallery, Minneapolis, MN, USA (solo exhibition)
Voice 1156 Gallery, San Diego, CA (solo exhibition)
Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
Black Floor Gallery, Philadelphia, PA, USA (solo exhibition)
Galerie Magda Danysz, Paris, France
Dyezu Experiment, Tokyo, Japan
Mendenhall Sobieski Gallery, Pasadena, CA, USA
DC Gallery, Denver, CO, USA
V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
Project Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Track 16 Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2004
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2004:
Kerkchof Gallery, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
The Ad Shop, Brussels, Belgium (solo exhibition)
Toy Room Gallery, Sacramento, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
V1 Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark (solo exhibition)
Kantor Gallery Window, New York, NY, USA (solo exhibition)
Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
Gallery Katz, Boston, MA, USA (solo exhibition)
Martin Mcintosh Outer Gallery, Melbourne, Australia (solo exhibition)
Merry Karnowsky Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
Paragraph Gallery, Kansas City, MO, USA (solo exhibition)
Paul Rodgers 9W Gallery, New York, NY, USA
Beautiful Losers, CAC, Cincinnati, OH, USA
Ducky Waddles Emporium, Encinitas, CA, USA
Streetwise 3, Santa Monica, CA, USA
Beautiful Losers, Yerba Buena, San Francisco, CA, USA
QEEROPHONIC, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Carlos Irizarry Gallery, San Juan, Puerto Rico
OBJEX Artspace, Miami, FL, USA
2003
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2003:
La Base, Paris, France (solo exhibition)
Perhelion Arts, Phoenix, AZ, USA (solo exhibition)
SIXSPACE, Los Angeles, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
CPOP, Detroit, MI, USA (solo exhibition)
Think Tank, CO, USA (solo exhibition)
RED FIVE, San Francisco, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
Kantor Gallery Window, New York, NY, USA (solo exhibition)
Milk, San Francisco, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
Session the Bowl, Deitch Projects, New York, NY, USA
Quite Riot, Long Beach, CA, USA
Design Is Kinky Conference, Sydney, Australia
Back Jumps Exhibition, Berlin, Germany
2002
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2002:
Emporium Gallery, Encinitas, CA, USA (solo exhibition)
1300 Gallery, Cleveland, OH, USA (solo exhibition)
Boston Museum, Boston, MA, USA (solo exhibition)
Dept/Fumiya Gallery, Tokyo, Japan (solo exhibition)
Max Fish, New York, NY, USA
Merry Karnowski Gallery, Hollywood, CA, USA
Day by Day Gallery, Richmond, VA, USA
The Blue Cube, Columbus, OH, USA
Seven Degrees Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA, USA
Apart Gallery, London, UK
Modart, CA, USA
2001
Shepard Fairey Exhibitions in 2001:
Hallsey Gallery, College of Charleston, SC, USA (solo exhibition)
Tin Man Alley Gallery, New Hope, PA, USA (solo exhibition)
CPOP Gallery, Detroit, MI, USA
Levi's Vortex Gallery
Bush Gallery, Providence, RI
MOCA DC, Washington, DC, USA
2000
Capsule, Birmingham, England (solo exhibition)