Obama Mural Defaced; Political Statement or the Work of a Hipster Wannabe?

mural.jpg
Photo by Monica Fuentes
Splash town: A statement of artistic or political principles?
Since 2008, commuters coming off the Southwest Freeway have been met by a large mural version of Shepard Fairey's "Hope" poster of Barack Obama.

It adorns a shop, across the street from the Breakfast Klub, that served as the Obama campaign's Houston headquarters.

For at least the second time since going up, it's been defaced.

In 2009 someone scrawled the word "puppet" on it; this time it looks like less of an effort was made, and cans of paint were simply splashed onto the image.

Or is it actually an artistic statement rather than a political one? In 2007 someone went around defacing artworks by Fairey and others in New York; the perpetrator briefly became a hipster phenomenon, one that was examined by our own Troy Schulze in a DiverseWorks production.

Schulze's critical eye notes that the splatterer took pains to use different colors, and the result is far closer to the semi-famed Splasher's work than just a random defacing.

"Looks identical," he says. "As identical as a paint splatter on a Shepard Fairey image can look."

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17 comments
Me64250
Me64250

Lets be for real! People know why the mural was defaced. It was a cowardice act by someone unjustifibly who blames Mr. Obama for the current economic mess we are in. Nevermind the fact that on 9.10.00 Donald Rumsfeld went on national television and announced that 3 trillion dollars was missing from the Pentagon and no one knew where it was.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Someones desperate for attention. Chances are they are drinking pbr and smoking clove cigarettes, all while thinking they are fighting "the man."

Kyle
Kyle

Obama banned clove cigarettes. Damn the Man, save the Empire.

ribalding
ribalding

I'd be fine if he would ban hipsters.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Gotta hit the fixed gear bikes and skinny jeans. Small steps.

H_e_x
H_e_x

You can find them at any minimart.

Kyle
Kyle

Cigarillos and etc. have different restrictions.

Craig
Craig

Being a defacer is bad...

BUT

We are not North Korea. No need for murals dedicated to the sitting President in office no matter who he is.

I'm not Dr. Fuchs, but have other sitting Presidents had creepy cult of personality art?

I'm curious.

Robert Boyd
Robert Boyd

I don't know how to put the image in this post, but if you want creepy cult of personality, take a look at this classic: http://bit.ly/hxE0SE

The mural was a campaign image that happened to stay up long after the campaign. Honestly, the only surprising thing is that it hasn't been defaced more frequently--it's just begging to have a mustache drawn on it!

H_e_x
H_e_x

I'm surprised it hasn't been fucked with more too. God only knows it's an easy target for people who are too lazy to get involved in politics.

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Why make the distinction between a sitting president and a former one? Houston has, after all, a George HW Bush statue and mural, busts of four former presidents along I-45, among what I can count off the top of my head/

Craig
Craig

Because we don't want to emulate North Korea, Venezuela, Syria, or even Vladimir Putin to an extent in Russia.

Our Dear Leader, while in office, deserves no cult of personality following.

Wyatt
Wyatt

Makes more sense when you consider that was his local campaign office, and the mural was painted before he was elected.

But somehow I actually agree with you - it is a little Dear Leader-ish.

"I am covered in the dust of the leader. He favors me!"

Kyle
Kyle

I support defacement of war criminal art, now let's argue about politics.

H_e_x
H_e_x

Not enough people get into politics. They bitch and moan about candidates from both parties being the same while refusing to go out and make a change and find people who represent them. That's my take on politics.

Jamal Jeremiah
Jamal Jeremiah

This was the work of a painter who uses only yellow and blue but happens to get really horny when he works.

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