Beltway Happenings  
Jan. 17, 2009 --The National Portrait Gallery received Shepard Fairey's iconic image of Barack Obama and installed the work in its New Arrivals section just in time for the Inaugural.  Fairey created the mixed media stenciled collage almost a year ago and, as Martin E. Sullivan, director of the Gallery, noted in a statement, "Shepard Fairey's instantly recognizable image was integral to the Obama campaign."  Heather and Tony Podesta donated the piece.  Curator Wendy Wick Reaves described the work as a convergence of a popular culture phenomenon, a political graphic, and a work of fine art.  It has elements of the propaganda aesthetic including the large face, heroic pose, primary colors, and honed down, simplified design and makes "a very bold graphic statement," she said.
Congresswoman Barabara Lee, Shepard Fairey, Dr. Martin Irvine, and Tony and Heather Podesta.
Feb. 2009 ed. note, updated March 11, 2009
Copyright © 2009  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action