Shepard Fairey

MAY DAY Flag Offset, 2011

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Lot 28
Offset lithograph
24.0 x 36.0 in (61.0 x 91.4 cm)
Signed on verso


This work ships from Brooklyn, United States.


"After receiving many requests for the MAY DAY Flag image as a poster, I decided to make an offset of the most requested version. In the land of Obey Giant… democracy works. Power to the people!"
- Shepard Fairey

“This print presents the American flag as a central symbol for ideas regarding labor and politics. It acted as an anchor for Shepard Fairey’s May 2010 solo exhibition, also called May Day. Each of the stars represents political, religious, and ideological groups that have changed the American experience with activism and revolution. Torn pieces of newspaper clippings, paper money, labels, and other designs layer over and under the stripes of the flag, referring to the persistence of difficulties in political, economic, and cultural arenas, especially for the working class. The print is consistent with Fairey’s street-art style and habit of free speech advocacy. Fairey also had his day in court, following a lawsuit initiated by Associated Press for alleged copyright infringement over Fairey’s use of a photograph of Obama for his famous “HOPE” poster for the President’s 2008 campaign; the civil lawsuit was settled in 2011.”
- Cates Saleeby and Jacqueline Crispino, Summer 2019 Interns, Center for Art Law, Brooklyn, New York.

About Shepard Fairey

Shephard Fairey (American, b. 1970) is a contemporary artist and graphic designer who routinely uses his art to comment on the political and social issues of the day. Predominantly executed in a palette of black, cream, and red, Fairey’s prints and murals often feature dystopian and propagandist elements, along with his signature “Obey” trademark. In 2008, he released an image of Barack Obama with the slogan “HOPE,” which subsequently became an icon of Obama’s presidential campaign and propelled Fairey to national recognition. His work is included in the permanent collections of numerous institutions, including the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and has been exhibited at Galerie Itinerrance, Paris; the Moscow Museum of Art; and Pace Gallery, New York. His murals are also featured on buildings and streets worldwide.