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He may not realize it, but Shepard Fairey is one of the most promising artists of his generation. We can’t think of any American street artists who have managed as thorough an urban transformation as he has in New York, and his Obama poster is easily one of the most iconic images produced by any artist in over a decade. He deserves a cash-in or two; we just wish he could have made it a little more tasteful.

Fairey launched the OBEY clothing store today, and it’s genuinely abysmal. It’s a thrown together assortment of sub-Urban Outfitters schlock that treats Fairey’s meticulously collected phrases as if they were a brand on the level of Bugs Bunny, ready to be silkscreened onto sweatshirts en masse without any attention to actual style or design.

In every item, it’s obvious that Fairey has absolutely no interest in becoming a viable clothing designer. Which is fine by us. We just wish he could have stuck to gallery sales.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom