The artist whose poster of Barack Obama became a rallying image during the hope-and-change election of 2008 says he understands why so many people have lost faith.
In an exclusive interview with National Journal on Thursday, Shepard Fairey expressed his disappointment with the president — a malaise that seems representative of many Democrats who had great expectations for Obama.
Fairey explained that when he came up with the poster in 2008, he was trying to find a single image that embodied the issues he cared most about — promoting health care, helping labor, and curtailing lobbyists. He likened the issues to projectiles.
“Looking at Obama’s standpoint on various policies, it was like, ‘Why throw all these particular projectiles over the wall… when I could put all those things in one projectile that I could hurl over the wall,'” Fairey said in a phone interview from Los Angeles, where he lives. “Obama was the delivery device in theory. Now, I realize that he maybe is not the correct delivery device, and I’ll just deal with those issues separately.”
“To say I feel disappointment is within the context that I know he’s very intelligent, very capable, very compassionate,” Fairey said. “I think he has the tools, and he does not trust his instincts in how to apply them.”