I still remember the first time I stumbled across an “Obey Giant” sticker. I’d purchased a graffiti art magazine out of Boston, the long-defunct “Skills,” at a streetwear boutique on Miami Beach named Peds, circa 1993. As I got home and eagerly rifled through the pages, two silver and black, square-shaped stickers fell out. These were no ordinary stickers, in fact, at the time, they seemed downright peculiar. On them was a grainy, photocopied image of the legendary professional wrestler, Andre the Giant, and the words—
“Andre the Giant Has A Posse.”
Okay, my curiosity was piqued, for sure, but I somehow couldn’t help my first thought being “why would someone use an Andre the Giant image on this here sticker, and moreover why would it be placed, just so, in a graffiti magazine?” Contextually, I didn’t really understand the reference beyond what seemed to be a very surface, pop culture tie-in. I mean, look, if you were a kid in the late 70′s-early 80′s, Andre the Giant certainly cut an awesome and instantly recognizable figure, not only for his prowess in the very “real” sport of Pro Wrestling, either— this was after all, no mere mortal we’re talkin’ about here— this was a mammoth man, a “giant.” Now, some seventeen years removed from that encounter, it seems, too, those were not “merely” just some random, run o’ the mill stickers.
The man who created those little silver and black stickers I happened upon, Shepard Fairey, through his early stickers and stencils, arguably gave birth to what’s become known as the modern street art phenomenon— and in the process created one of the most genius viral campaigns to date. Pardon the platitude, but I guess you could say he was “ahead of his time.”
In the years that followed you couldn’t travel to a city, domestically or abroad, where he and legions of others weren’t stenciling, wheat-pasting, and stickering his indelible images on everything from garbage cans to water towers, and every other inanimate object that stood in their paths. Though he would later achieve much greater notoriety as “oh, that guy who created the Obama poster,” it was his earliest creations that set the stage for his massive success.
I’ll truncate, get to the point, and leave you to explore all that is Shepard Fairey. But, these days, it’s interesting to note that through his companies, Obey and Studio No.1, he has created a graphic-driven empire, spanning multiple licensees, across a myriad of industries— and it all started with those little stickers, a big guy, and an even bigger idea.
Myxer is proud to present official Obey Giant mobile content, and if you’re an Obey fan, like some of us here, you’ll definitely want to outfit your phone or mobile device with a killer piece of art, from our limited Obey Giant collection!
Bonus Recommended Viewing: Exit Through The Gift Shop
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