'Hug Bombs' by Shepard Fairey, 2004
Original poster/paster based on Fairey's collab. with artists Mear One and Robbie Conal (unsigned edition).
24 x 36 Inches
61 x 91.4 Centimeters
Very Rare, early offset lithograph on satin poster paper.
Open Edition (Sold Out).
*Note: Originally folded when released, some show discoloration at fold marks and some rough outer-edges due to age, handling. Overall good condition.
ABOUT THE ART
Shepard Fairey was born in South Carolina in 1970. When he was young, he was fascinated with drawing and skateboarding, and discovered a way to incorporate both hobbies together. He began the tradition of placing his sketches onto T-shirts and skateboards.
Even as a little kid he was quite rebellious. During his senior year of high school, he had the daily opportunity of going to a nearby art center afterschool in order to work on his art pieces and learn. To further his design talent, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design and graduated in 1992.
Fairey's first major work was the creation of the Andre the Giant Has a Posse sticker, which he posted all around the city. Eventually, he put it on a major campaign ad for mayor, which got him a lot of recognition in the area. He continued to make art while only having earnings barely above the poverty level. It took almost a decade for him to finally start his own design studio, where he continues to make new pieces of art.
His works are all very provocative, and ask controversial questions; they tend to provide a humorous aspect by poking fun of society while also raising awareness and getting people to think (Shepard Fairey).
Hug Bombs and Drop Babies is a clever poster that contains two sets of phrases that are ironic yet create a sense of ambiguity. The set of phrases in smaller font at the top describes the irony between the government's struggle to continue to maintain global supremacy and their political slogans referencing their vain acts of hugging babies to demonstrate their care for people. They claim that they want to keep the United States strong internationally in order to care for the youth. Yet the government needs to use children to fight in battle and possibly die in order to protect this global supremacy. This counter-intuitive logic does not make sense, yet people follow the words of the President.
With his Obey logo, he is explaining to people that while they most likely obey Bush, his words may not make any sense at all, such as a case of doublethink. He desires that people become critical thinkers and analyze information wisely before digesting it.
The other set of phrases refer to Bush's offensive campaign in the Middle East. Many young men are sent there to aid in the goal of acquiring oil in order to fuel American necessities, such as bomb production, but never return. Yet supposedly protecting the people using bombs is also a main goal the government is working towards.
The ambiguity of the phrases and how sometimes one can forget his or her true goals reminds the viewer to reevaluate his or her thoughts, and to confirm that he or she truly is understanding the reasons for certain actions, instead of just accepting them under ignorance. The poster also demonstrates although one may have a good reason to go to war, fighting the war itself will cause more problems, and will ultimately reverse any progress towards achieving the original purpose.
Thus, war is essentially needless.