OBEY at Palazzo Medici Riccardi

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of Shepard Fairey’s debut

Editorial Staff
July 8, 2019 - 14:41

2019 marks the 30th anniversary of American street artist Shepard Fairey’s seminal sticker campaign Andre the Giant Has a Posse, launched in Rhode Island, USA, in mid-1989. In commemoration, Palazzo Medici Riccardi is hosting the exhibition OBEY. Make Art Not War, organized by Associazione MetaMorfosi in collaboration with Spirale d’Idee.





Ph. Samantha Vaughn




Dedicated to the four themes of woman, environment, peace and culture, the exhibition features small- and large-scale works by Fairey, codename OBEY, each of which encompasses the artist’s pacifist and environmentalist message. Silk-screen prints hang beside collages and posters, inviting visitors to reflect on humanitarian ideas, existential transitions, social utopias and values above the law.



“OBEY is the prototype of the new political artist,” said Gianluca Marziani, curator of the exhibition alongside Stefano Antonelli. “He has understood that pressing themes are tackled with symbols and visual intelligence, with the rapid impact of a message that the viewer can recognize him/herself in without being confused.”



Mayor of Florence, Dario Nardella, continued, “OBEY’s message is direct: we need to work towards a dream. OBEY often demonstrates this with the expression ‘We the people’: he makes no distinctions as he visually interprets a need, one that the ‘people’ themselves have not yet confessed; that is, to rediscover a peaceful ‘us,’ capable of countering mass individualism and a fear fed by fake news.”




Ph. Samantha Vaughn




OBEY. Make Art Not War, dedicated to the former director of Casa Buonarroti, Pina Ragionieri, is running until October 20, 2019.

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