1984: Big Brutha

1984 was first published in 1949 and has been in print ever since. In the UK, Penguin regularly refresh the covers.
A few years ago they had a photography competition to illustrate a new Penguin Modern Classics cover. I entered; I lost (bugger). In 2008, urban artist Shepard Fairey got a go. Mr Fairey does a lot of stuff in a fetching mock-Soviet style and had a London exhibition called NighteenEightyFouria a few years back.

Now he is best known for his Barrack Obama ‘Hope’ poster. This has got him in trouble with Associated Press as he ‘borrowed’ one of their photos for the poster, then did a bit of evidence deleting which annoyed the courts.

Anyroadup, his Obama Hope poster became immediately iconic (we’re back to that theme again) in a way the original AP photo never would. In fact it’s so iconic, the kind of people who marry their own sisters and brand Obama a dangerous socialist (another theme we’re back to), have taken a leaf out of Fairey’s book and done remixes of their own.

If you want to make your own Obamicon (for that is what it is) click here.


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