I didn’t even know Hulu’s latest original documentary was coming out, but when I saw that graffiti artist Shepard Fairey was the subject, I knew I immediately had to watch it. Who is Shepard Fairey you may ask? There are two iconic images he is famous for; the Obama HOPE poster and my personal favorite, the Andre the Giant OBEY poster. In fact, I’m so obsessed with this latter image that I have it on my water bottle.
Fairey started out just making some stickers with an image of Andre the Giant and some simple text of “Andre the Giant has a posse” that became very popular in the skateboarding world. Over time this image eventually evolved into the Andre face, and after seeing the often underrated movie “They Live”, Fairey added the OBEY saying underneath it. The film follows Fairey from the early days of starting out as a young skateboarder to traveling the country plastering his art all over. Seeing the variety of art and topics that Fairey covered in his works is amazing. The interview style of much of the film really helps you realize how much change he was trying to effect. The documentary also covers how Fairey created the Obama’s HOPE image and the popularity behind it. Followed later by him being sued by the Associated Press for copyright infringement. All of which I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know happened.
The film does end on a bit of an obvious political stance but that doesn’t detract from the story at all. I loved seeing how Fairey came up in the graffiti world and then all that came from him “going legit.” Anyone who is a fan of graffiti art, or even just art in general, should definitely check this film out.
8 illegally places posters out of 10