Obey Giant / The Art of Shepard Fairey

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Face In The Crowd

My wife recently heard a review of the film “A Face in the Crowd” from 1957, which I discovered was Andy Griffith’s very first film. Trust me, you’ve never seen Andy in a performance like this and in service of a brilliant concept. To me, this film is like Citizen Kane and Network mixed together, but somehow less revered than either. The film starts with a charming and charismatic misfit finding an outlet on local radio for his music and folksy musings, moving on to bigger national TV projects and socializing with politicians and corporate barons, and ending with him drunk on power, manipulating the masses who he sees as a moldable bewildered herd while he leaves a trail of disillusioned friends and followers. To say that the film is prescient is an extreme understatement! It is available on several streaming services and if this cautionary masterpiece is too late to prevent the latest great pretender demagogue, maybe it can warn us away from the next one. - Shepard

From the archives:
Demagogue, 2016
Screenprint
18 x 24 inches
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