EXCLUSIVE: Shepard Fairey ‘Defend Equality’ Art for Marriage Equality


Shepard Fairey, the graphic designer and illustrator who created the iconic images for Obama’s campaign, has turned his focus to the current fight for equality in the gay and lesbian community, designing a poster intended specifically for use at this weekend’s rallies in California and elsewhere. The image is inspired by the art of a young man named Aaron Harvey. Thanks to the donations of two print sources, posters will be donated for the rally this Saturday at City Hall, which is part of the larger nationwide action called Join the Impact. More info will be forthcoming later today.

Also, I’ll have a huge Prop 8 update with lots of links and news later today. UPDATE: Here it is.

Shepard Fairey for Obama [tr]


  1. says

    I was thrilled to hear that Shepard Fairey created a poster based on my design, especially when a lot of my inspiration comes from him! It’s nice for the movement to have an image to hang it’s hat on!

  2. says

    I love that the fist also looks like a HEART…so brilliant. How amazing would it be to see this coast to coast at rallies and demonstrations.


  3. Markl says

    Does anyone know where I can download an .eps file of Fairey’s image? I want to print signs for tomorrow’s national day of protest. Thanks, Mark

  4. OrangeCrux says

    I know it’s probably not fashionable to discredit someone supporting the protests, but Shepard Fariey, despite having good politics, is not exactly honest when it comes to his own artwork.


    I’d like to know if any of the proceeds he will undoubtably make from the sale of this poster will go to help fight prop 8, or any LGBT causes. He certainly made a mint from his support of Barack Obama, and while he did donate to the campaign, it’d be interesting to see if he donates to LGBT’s as well.

  5. says

    Well, he did credit me for my original poster, that’s more than a lot of people would (and have) done. There’s some ripoffs (bad ones) out there.

  6. anon says

    Ill advised design. I’d wait for something better. First is the obvious fisting references, which won’t go over well at all. Then there’s the “black power” reference, which won’t go over well. Then there’s the socialist-realism style, which won’t go over well at all (the Obama images were bad enough in this regard). I’m not waiting for rainbows and puppies, but it’s way to harsh and off-putting.

  7. paul c says

    I don’t see how a fist represents love or how one hand represents unity. Is this supposed to represent how Americans should defend equality — with fists and violence?

    I’m pretty sure law and reason is the preferred path…but I’m old fashioned that way. This must be part of the new America of change and hope. It sure looks like the old Soviet Union in style and substance, however.

  8. Jimmyboyo says

    Davitydave, Anon, Paul C

    The “black power” reference is perfect. hello!!!!!!!!! we need to reach out to the AA community and connect our cause to their own and their historical understanding of civil rights. It is perfect.

    On the “violence” thing. Martin’s dream did much but it was Malcolm X and others’ call to a more violent radicalism that scared many white americans to embrace the more peaceful dream of Martin’s. Our own queer history shows us that the violent radicalism of ACT UP did far more for our cause and rights than the happy shuffle rainbows and puppies sweetness of HRC and GLAAD.

    On the whole fisting thing. As a kink lover myself, get over it. Its funny. Having had my own fist up a warm tight male ass once or twice or a thousand times (you would be surprised what a beer and my smile can convince a guy to submit to), it can be pretty damn intimate and intense. Get over it. The majority of america will see the “black power” = a GOOD thing!!! reference and not a fisting thing at all. In camaraderie with kinky people everywhere…….Red right Red left UNITE. Red hanky people fight fight fight. Fists forever.


  9. Jason says

    I felt ecstatic when I heard Shepard Fairey had donated his time to create a symbol to support our cause, particularly after his iconic Obama/HOPE potrait. I had thoughts of “hope”, “solidarity”, “peace”, “optimism”.

    Unfortunately, and this is in no way to discourage Fairey’s great generosity, I’m saddened by the use of the closed fist. To me it connotes “overpowering”, “suppressive empowerment”, “agitation”, “anarchy” and association with the Black Panther movement.

    Again, I want to emphasize I do not want to undermine Fairey’s contribution to our cause. However, for the betterment of our cause and to not alienate with possible negative imagery those we are trying to convince, I want to DISCOURAGE THE USE OF THIS IMAGE.

  10. OrangeCrux says

    In addition, Absolutely Fabulous came up with this idea as a joke in the 1990’s with “Fists Across America: We’re Not Gonna Take It Lying Down Anymore!” Now, with Jennifer Saunders, it was funny. This image really is rather militant and not promoting the right mentality here. It’s not funny, it’s not kitschy, it’s not cute. It’s not light at all. It’s heavy and it’s angry. It’s not hopeful, it’s threatening. It’s not gay. Therefore, it’s not the image we should be using.

  11. Rey says

    Oh jeez. People hate Fairey’s Obama poster too because it looks like “propaganda.

    I don’t have a problem with the fist. In fact, I think a little bit of intimidation is in order. I’m sick of gay people rolling over and being nice. I do like how it resembles a heart too. Like Fairey’s coopting of the Soviet propaganda style in an ironic way for the Obama poster, I think this is an excellent balance of sweetness with strength, optimism and militarism.

    I want to know where to buy one of these as a litho.

  12. Sean says

    SCREW Obama….he is a house negro. Don’t trust him because we will be in camps soon. BELIEVE IT. You can pretent you fucking faggots…but remember this message. This is THE moment when you lost your dignity. FIGHT, KILL, BEAT…they will never understand!

  13. says

    LAME. A single male fist does not shout unity or equality. Or anything to do with sexual orientation. That fist is a 40+ year old icon and this recycles it without a shred of imagination.