Blog featuring artwork of Wes Freese

Seattle Obeys

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Just off the corner of 1st and Stewart, and one block up from the Farmer’s Market.  I’m not sure if this is an image that has been approved by Shepard Fairey.  Perhaps he can confirm here on this blog if it is or isn’t.  My first thought after seeing the image is that it’s an obvious rip off from the 1969 John Lennon / Yoko Ono billboard campaign in New York City and ten other cities around the world, which advertised: “War Is Over (If You Want It)”.  Two problems with this Obey piece: (1) ah, no, the war in Iraq is not over; and (2) the “If You Want It” part of the slogan is kind of an important element to the social commentary.  Without it, this piece seems to just be some weird delusion.  The fact that “If You Want It” is not included is indiciative of our current social climate involving the Iraq War.  Most people have not been touched personally by the war and therefore do not feel the necessity to sacrifice or take action to stop a war, at least not with the amount of fervor and dedication the anti-war movement in the sixties and seventies did against the Vietnam War.  But…I digress.


Written by Wes Freese

May 31, 2008 at 6:09 am

Posted in Artists, Marketing, Printmaking

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One Response

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  1. You’re right about the need for the phrase “If You Want It.” A couple of years before John and Yoko’s poster campaign there was a similar theme done in LA and New York called “The War Is Over,” but it too lacked a political vision beyond simply declaring the war over — but, at the very least, it still involved protests, just of a more celebratory nature.


    June 1, 2008 at 5:53 am

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