Web Feature | Culture

Obam-ART

Editor: Shereen Meraji

Los Angeles-based artist, Shepard Fairey’s portraits of Obama are everywhere: bumpers, billboards and wheat pasted on walls across the country.

ManifestHope: DC Gallery showcased work from visual artists around the country who, like Fairey, used their art to spread the word about Barack Obama and his candidacy.

The web-team gave a tiny flip cam to DC resident Erin Robertson to catch the ManifestHope: DC Gallery’s pre-inauguration bash.

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Cool event. Wish I could have been there.

I have a Shepard Fairey Obama poster that says "Hope", and I love it! I convinced my boss to let me frame it and hang it over my desk at work.

I think the facebook app that lets everyone get their picture Obama-fied in the Shepard Fairey style says so much. Millions of people want to cast themselves in this exact image! The power of art and politics combined!

dope! the abraham obama portrait by Ron English!!! i love it!!!

How cool that we have a president who has inspired so many people creatively.

My favorite portrait is Abraham Obama. Lincoln is the perfect image of what Obama is doing. History in the making...

LOVED Abraham Obama--especially since there's been such linkage between the two by both Obama's people and the media. The Fairey piece that has become an icon was key to branding Obama early on. Hope the original is in the National Portrait Gallery soon.

I'm so happy to see this video coverage of an event I so wanted to check out ... I did buy Shepard's limited edition inauguration poster a few days ago, but I do agree that the Obrahama Lincoln poster is the bomb ! It's a great sign of good things to come when a president inspires artists of all walks of life to come together and create great pieces ...

This is such an interesting SLICE of the inauguration proceedings that many were not able to witness & I thank you for making this possible.

The art pieces displayed were not only unique, but capture this historic event through the eyes of ARTISTS. My favorite peice of artowrk was Abraham Lincoln juxtaposed with President Obama.

--Alexandria--

Thank you for all of your thoughtful comments. We would love to do more of these videos where we just ship our tiny flip camera around California and the U.S. and let you travel to that event, virtually.

Very very cool. Shows that art moves people!

I straddle the fence with this sort of artwork. Although it is awe-inspiring and breathtaking at times (at great change from the cringe-induced reactions that were so knee-jerk when i saw a picture of Bush), the mass proliferation of Obama's now iconic face also gives me slight anxiety. I say this because the atmosphere created with this kind of imagery gives the feeling of being in a personality-cult driven dictatorial country. (Even Obama's "Si Se Puede" reminded me of Chavez's "Uh Ah-Chavez no se va").

Let me explain. When I was in DC last (before the inauguration), I remember looking at my metro card, a white card with Obama's face, as I walked by the Kennedy Center, only to see a huge picture of Obama plastered outside of the building. That ubiquitous imagery made me feel like I was in Syria again. But you know what? There is a sharp difference, at least, as this video shows, the artwork is coming from the people and not the state, an IMPORTANT distinction.

Btw, as an irrelevant side note, I love how all these apps STILL spellcheck "Obama"!!!!

Shereen: you did a great job editing this together!

this is very cool - kudos to Erin!!! Words do not describe the energy here in Washington this week - but the closest description would be this - remember in The Wizard of Oz when the movie went from black & white to Technicolor and everyone started dancing cause the house had fallen on the witch... LOL!

What a great event and the flip cam really captures the feeling of the evening. I think the inspiration of these artist is truly indicative of the times... the hope we all have for the future of our country. Thanks for putting on the event, thanks for the creativity you have shared, thanks for making it available in this way.

Meg in Tubac, Arizona

The flip is hip. Tight. Crush. Send one to me S'reeny.

Excellent stuff! Really captures some of the magic of Inauguration days and the enthusiasm of the artists. Had no idea how many artists were involved -- quite heartwarming.

This is so good! I am so glad that you were able to capture some of the energy for this too short-lived show. The Abraham Obama was dope, but you should have included the gold print with the diamond dust from downstairs too. Although there were so many great works in this show that did not make it into the final cut, I hope that this gets distributed so that more folks can see what hope can do. Great work Christal, Erin and Shereen! Please send me a postable vid if you can.

Herb, you can click the menu button on the vid and it will give you the option to download or embed the vid. go crazy!

just goes to show how powerful art can be.. it's role in energizing a movement - and what we can all achieve when we're inspired...

speaking of art, politics, and inspiration.. have you seen this? an art piece inspired by the horrors our FORMER (thank goodness) president inflicted on the world - hopefully it (and other art) will inspire us to put that f*cker in jail: www.goodnightbush.com/librarium/

Nice work Erin!

This is a fabulous piece. Whoever filmed it did a wonderful job - thank you so much for putting this together and posting it!

The artists and the film have really managed to show what a powerful medium art is and how it played its part in bringing about the monumental occasion of the inauguraton we experienced last week and the energy it created all over the world- even here in Sydney Australia. Congratulations to all and good luck Obama!

I think it's really amazing how many people have been inspired by Obama. This is just another of those instances where you can see how much effect one person can have on so many people in such a positive way!

What a great event! Thanks for bringing it to those of us not fortunate enough to be in the area. Nice work, Erin! Great editing also.

Nice work E!!!!