‘Behind You’ is silkscreen print by acclaimed street artist Obey aka Shepard Fairey. The print is from an AP edition of 8 and is signed by the artist.
Shepard Fairey - better known by his psuedonym, Obey - is one of the most prolific contemporary graffiti artists in the US and a key defining figure of the street art movement, globally. Famed for his 2008 Obama ‘hope’ poster, his work is influenced by and informs a critique of both advertising and propaganda, featuring politically charged images of consumer culture in a graphic, retro aesthetic. His ‘ICA Retro Series’ draws on images from Soviet propaganda: an important legacy for Obey, representing the dawn of advertising and graphics tipping into the realm of art. With the familiar palette of red, black, and sepia-beige, ‘Behind You’ makes use of the dauntless graphic compositions characteristic of Soviet era art. Two ‘V’ shaped blocks sit against a red background, while a large hand points out of the print, towards the viewer. Various icons and text feature across the print: a star with the famous Andre the Giant face, the words ‘Obey Giant’ inside big, graphic arrows, and, in large black type, the words ‘!Behind You!’. The work is powerful in its political drive and deft historical appropriation but, beyond all else, is an aesthetic triumph, striking and beautiful to behold.