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Posters and Election Propaganda

A blog dedicated to the examination of communications in election campaigns, with a focus on posters

Tagged as “Ron English”

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Posted by Steven Seidman at 1:05PM   |  2 comments
Hope Book Cover


Three books with posters that promoted Barack Obama for president of the U.S. last year have just been released:

  • Hope: A Collection of Obama Posters and Prints by Hal Elliott Wert. With more than 170 posters (many little known) from Wert's collection and a foreword by Ray Noland, the street artist who created "The Dream." Wert is a professor at the Kansas City Art Institute.
  • Design for Obama. Posters for Change: A Grassroots Anthology, edited by Spike Lee and Aaron Perry-Zucker, with an essay by Steven Heller. A selection of posters from  designforobama.org. Heller is Co-chair of the School of Visual Arts MFA Designer as Author Program and writes a column on visual design for the The New York Times Book Review. You can leaf through the book on the publisher's Web site.
  • Art for Obama: Designing Manifest Hope and the Campaign for Change, edited by Shepard Fairey and Jennifer Gross. Fairey, of course, is the controversial street artist who created the most prominent image of Obama. This collection reportedly has many collages, paintings, photo composites, prints, and computer-generated designs, with many by little known artists, as well, but also posters by Ron English and Fairey.

Posted by Steven Seidman at 12:34PM   |  Add a comment
Abraham Obama Tour, August 2008


Guerrilla pop-artist Ron English has produced illegal billboards ("Phatfood," "The Cancer Kid," and "Fox News. We Deceive. You Believe."), as well as posters that have been exhibited in the Museum of Contemporary Art in Paris and the Whitney Museum in New York.

English claims to have "pirated" numerous billboards over the last two decades, substituting his "subvertisements" for the existing advertisements. He is also the author of the 2004 book, Popaganda, The Art and Subversion of Ron English.

For this year's U.S. presidential campaign, he created the "Abraham Obama" poster—a fusion of the faces of Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama. He then made a nationwide tour, putting up "Abrama" murals in Boston, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, and finally in Denver, the site of the Democratic National Convention.

Some have found English's creation to be "awesome"; others have thought it to be "offensive," favoring "symbolism over substance."

What do you think?

 

 

In any case, take a look at the video of the "Abraham Obama" billboard being pasted-up in Boston:


 

And there's a news report on the controversy surrounding English's guerrilla-marketing campaign. Click on the link below, which will take you to YouTube (since embedding was disabled for this clip):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mrnYa5-0T0&feature=related

English has a great Web site, on which one can find dozens of examples of his "popaganda." Check it out at:

http://www.popaganda.com/index.shtml 


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