Arts & Entertainment

Shepard Fairey edits new 'Art For Obama' book

Shepard Fairey holding a letter sent by Barack Obama, thanking him for the portrait.
Shepard Fairey holding a letter sent by Barack Obama, thanking him for the portrait.
Alex Cohen/KPCC

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Los Angeles-based artist Shepard Fairey created one of the most important images in the 2008 presidential election. It's a red, white and blue portrait of Barack Obama with the word HOPE.

It's one of 150 full color images in the new book "Art for Obama." Fairey is one of the book's editors.

The book is filled with collages, paintings, and computer-generated pieces that look at the campaign and the man who has become the 44th president of the United States.

These include everything from Ron English's painting that fuses the faces of Abraham Lincoln with Barack Obama and a romantic image of the president, rising out of the water with an unbuttoned shirt looking like the cover of a Harlequin romance novel.

Of course, Fairey's iconic portrait, which now hangs in the National Portrait Gallery, also appears in the book, despite an ongoing legal battle over the image.

The Associated Press claims that Fairey violated fair use laws when he used one of its photos as the basis of that image. At first Fairey said he based his image off one particular AP photo of Obama.

Last month Fairey admitted to knowingly submitting false images and deleting others in the complicated case. But he still claims he didn’t violate fair use laws.

He recently discussed the new book and his thoughts on the recent legal wranglings with KPCC's Alex Cohen.

Alex met up with him recently met up with him at his Studio One Gallery in L.A. where he showed Alex one of his favorite images from this new collection.