Andre the Giant Has a Posse

obey

Andre the Giant Has a Posse is a street art campaign based on a design by Shepard Fairey created in 1989 in Providence, Rhode Island. Distributed by the skater community, the Andre stickers began showing up in many cities across the U.S. Over time the artwork has been reused in a number of ways and spread worldwide, following in the footsteps of World War II icon ‘Kilroy Was Here.’

Threat of a lawsuit from Titan Sports, Inc. in 1994 spurred Fairey to stop using the trademarked name ‘André the Giant,’ and to create a more styled image of the wrestler’s face, now most often with the equally iconic branding OBEY.

The OBEY slogan was not only a parody of propaganda, but also a direct homage to the OBEY signs found in the 1988 cult classic film, ‘They Live,’ starring Roddy Piper. Over time, Fairey’s artistic imagery has evolved into a sometimes subtle, sometimes not, parody of a range of iconic styles, mostly a juxtaposition of popular political propagandas and multi-national commercialism. In addition to countless small stickers, OBEY Giant has been spread by stencil, murals, and large wheatpaste posters, covering public and private spaces from building faces and street sign backs, to commercial spaces such as billboards and bus stop posters.

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