Shepard Fairey shot to national fame as the graphic artist behind a 2008 iconic poster of Barack Obama, a portrait labeled simply “HOPE” and in a style that could be described as Andy Warhol meets Socialist Realism. Fairey, who graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1992, was already well known among graffiti artists and fans, thanks to one of Fairey’s early works of “guerilla” art, an impromptu stencil design based on an ad for Andre the Giant, a professional wrestler. Fairey made stickers of the image in the late ’80s, along with the scrawl “Andre the Giant has a posse,” and the image went viral, spreading far and wide through urban America, on street signs, billboards and walls. He later adapted the image and added the word “obey.” Mixing left-wing politics with “appropriated” images and bold graphic design, Fairey now works as a fine artist and advertising designer, with a gallery in Los Angeles and business ventures that dip into publishing, fashion and urban sports (skateboarding). Supporters call what he does appropriation art, but detractors call it plagiarism, and Fairey’s success has put him in the middle of a legal and artistic debate about who owns what when it comes to images in the public. With permission from the staff of Obama’s presidential campaign, Fairey began distributing the “HOPE” image in January of 2008. A year later, with Obama in the White House, Fairey’s poster was officially displayed in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Around the same time the Associated Press declared Shepard’s poster was based on a 2006 photo taken by the AP’s Manny Garcia and they should get credit and compensation. Fairey filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against the AP, arguing he didn’t owe them. Fairey has appeared in the documentary films Andre the Giant Has a Posse (by Helen Stickler, first distributed in 1997) and Bomb It! (2007), and his work has been documented in the book Supply and Demand.
Puzzles from Shepard – Coming Soon
Everything started with just a simple sticker that Benny posted around town on a day off. The idea for the sticker was inspired by the old mantra, “Stay Gold.” To Benny, it was reminder that all the ideas and experiences that we hold dear are the real gold inside each of us. When it came time for Benny to establish his own brand, he hadn’t wavered from that concept, which is how the Benny Gold brand came to be. The brand started with a sticker, and has expanded to become an international brand, sold in over a hundred retailers around the world, and with a flagship store and design studio based in the Mission District of San Francisco.
Dice from Benny - Coming Soon
Bigfoot is a California based nature loving artist, and has been a influence in the skateboard industry for more than a decade. Originally from New Jersey, young Bigfoot fled to California to be closer to big trees and the Grateful Dead. Disassociated from art school and human society, in 1994 he started writing “Bigfoot” in the streets of San Francisco with relentless fury. Working often with house paint and wooden panels, his work depicts the conflict between the respect for nature held by the artist’s cast of Bigfoot characters and the destructive agenda of mankind. Despite his reclusive nature, Bigfoot has managed to stay active in society, designing skateboard graphics and footwear, showing in galleries in America and Japan, the release of his vinyl figure with Strangeco in 2004, and more recently his collaborations with The North Face and Hurley. His eponymous character and his love of heavy metal and especially the masked rock group KISS, play a major role in his studio work as well as his highly recognized art.
Turkey Bags from BigFoot - Coming Soon
Born in Los Angeles in 1978, Tristan began pursuing street rt as a teenager, painting everything from billboards to dumpsters in the urban landscape where he lived including London, Detroit and New York. Eaton designed his first toy for Fischer Price at 18 years old and has since become a driving force in the world of ‘Designer Toys’. As a creative leader in the world of advertising, Eaton consults such brands as Hasbro, Pepsi and Nike on many creative projects that span the globe and cross all mediums. Tristan’s work can be seen at the Cooper Hewitt Museum and in the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMa). Tristan is currently the president and creative director of Thunderdog Studios Inc., a prominent New York based Designer Toy Brand and Creative Agency that happily resides in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
Chess Set from Tristan - Coming Soon
Camilla D’Errico is a product of her split heritage, Italian and Canadian rolled into one: Italian feistiness, Canadian politeness, and an early addiction to Saturday morning cartoons, comics and manga. Growing up she was more often doodling sexy damsels and dragons on her textbooks than reading them. In 1998 when Camilla first attended her first San Diego Comic Con she realised that a 9–5 day job would kill her and this was what she wanted to do. Thanks to her relentless energy, dedication, and just enough sleep deprivation, she has followed her dream of working creatively for a living.
Jigsaw Puzzle from Camilla - Coming Soon
Jeremy Fish lives and works in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. His artwork deals with the relationship of all things cute and creepy, and the balance between the two. The work tends to be narrative stories designed with a library of symbols and characters. In the last few years Fish has exhibited his work in Japan, Germany, Switzerland, Taiwan, Poland, Hungry, Denmark, Canada, Holland, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, and all over the United States. In 2007, Fish started a new brand, Superfishal, with the help of his loyal team. It was a busy year for Fish, during this year he was fortunate to work on several projects with his musical hero Aesop Rock; including the cover artwork for the album None Shall Pass along with posters, tee shirts, and two music videos.
Dominoes from Jeremy – Available Now
Known for his sharp line work and colorful characters, Oliver Black is finding his light in the Bay Area art scene among some of the heavy hitters. He describes his work as “moments or situations we can all find ourselves in” . By blending strange new creatures with his versions of animals, nature and people, Black creates a mood and presents a primal sense of human experience in a very contemporary artistic representation. He has shown around the United States, and continues to work and live in Oakland, California.
Prana DVD by Oliver - Available Now
Mike Giant’s career is the result of genuine curiosity and decades of drawing for five hours a day. He’s been – and remains – a world-class graffiti writer, tattooist and illustrator with his REBEL8 line. He’s made zines, skateboard designs, animations, prints, collages and stacks of interesting artist and company collaborations. He travels all over the world, rides his bikes, practices mindfulness, smokes a gang of weed, and is a fully tattooed goofball that can be brought to dinner parties. Whether a page drawn in a friend’s black book amid collected signatures of other graffiti writers, or the large-scale works he hangs in galleries, Mike Giant’s drawings will fool you, even up close. The cleanliness, razor edges and solid blacks of the images all come from a Sharpie and Mike’s surgeon-steady hand, but look like they were printed. “In some ways, I took a lot of pride in that,” Mike explains. “As the graphic world has become more fixated on vector graphics, I think I wanted to show that I could replicate the same results by hand, thereby usurping the notion that computers are somehow ‘better,’ which I think is bullshit.”
“Rolling High” dice from Mike – Available Now
Buff monster lives in Hollywood and cites heavy metal music, ice cream and Japanese culture as major influences. The color pink, as a symbol of confidence, individuality and happiness, is present in everything he creates. He got known by putting up thousands of hand-silkscreened posters across Los Angeles and also in faraway places. When his original and one-and-only wheat paste brush was no longer usable, seven years of frequent poster missions came to an end. Having given up a very productive street art career, he now works exclusively on fine art paintings, collectible toys and select design projects. He paints on wood, taking great care to create them as flat as possible. His work has been shown in numerous galleries, usually creating large installations to accompany the paintings. He has released loads of signature vinyl toys through MINDstyle, and has many other projects in the works with other leading toy companies. His art has been published in a long list of magazines, newspapers and books, including Juxtapoz, Vapors, Angeleno, XLR8R, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and others. Buff Monster works tirelessly day and night to spread happiness, joy and a love of pink.
Playing Cards from Buff – Available Now
Ron English can be considered the “celebrated prankster father of agit-pop”, who wrangles carefully created corporate iconographies so that they are turned upside down, and are used against the very corporation they are meant to represent. Ron English is considered one of the fathers of modern street art and has initiated and participated in illegal public art campaigns since the early eighties. Some of his extralegal murals include one on the Berlin Wall’s Checkpoint Charlie in 1989, and one on the Palestinian separation wall in the West Bank in 2007, with fellow street artists Banksy and Swoon. Ron English has also painted several album covers including The Dandy Warhols album cover Welcome to the Monkey House. Some of his paintings are also used in Morgan Spurlock’s documentary Super Size Me. During the 2008 Presidential Election, he combined the features of Barack Obama and Abraham Lincoln for a popularly-distributed image entitled “Abraham Obama.” English takes inspiration from Andy Warhol and references him in his work. He also references the band KISS, and various cartoons. Also inspiration comes from the large billboards and posters he sees outside his city apartment, usually fast food companies.English also references Picasso’s Guernica. He has created dozens of versions, transforming the original Spanish civilian characters into Disney characters, Peanuts characters, soccer players, schoolchildren, and many others. He also painted the world’s largest version of Guernica at the Station Museum in Houston. It is one foot longer and one foot wider than Picasso’s original and features schoolchildren playacting the violent scene of the original.
Jigsaw Puzzles from Ron – Available Now
Tara McPherson is a New York City based artist whose work has been influenced by personal life experiences as well as the oddities and uniqueness of her subjects. Recognizefor her work by ELLE Magazine as the “Crown Princess of Poster Art”, Tara’s work has been featured in galleries all over the world. Tara’s art has also been featured in editorials, books, and magazines such as SPIN Magazine, Playboy, Vanity Fair, Juxtapoz, NY Press, LA Times, and many others. She has also created poster art for bands such as Beck, Modest Mouse, and Melvins. Tara attended the Art Center in Pasadena, CA where she graduated in 2001 with a BFA in illustration and a minor in Fine Art. She also teaches classes at Parsons School of Design in New York City where she currently resides.
Jigsaw Puzzles from Tara – Coming Soon
Sam Flores was born in 1975, immersed in the stark beauty of the New Mexico desert. In 1995, he moved to San Francisco seeking life as working artist and the Bohemian lifestyle of the Bay Area. Like most teens of the late 80′s and early 90′s, Sam was involved in street cultures of skateboarding and graffiti writing. From 1995-1998, these roots in urban expression helped him land freelance gigs doing graphics for Adrenalin skateboards and Civilian clothing. He’s shown at Virgin 69, 5024, and Hotel Biron galleries, as well as traveling shows to New York, Canada, Singapore, Tokyo and throughout Europe. His focal medium is paint on maps, blue prints and canvas. These paintings touch classic themes of “natural beauty,” which is in obvious contrast to his life in the urban landscape. He credits Michael Parkes and Derek Hess as influences. The rich flora of his recent work can be compared to the nouveau stylings of Alphonse Mucha. His figures tend to be somewhat anonymous, even masked in some instances, yet still full of personality and emotion. He effortlessly combines broad fields of color and finely rendered detail, creating paintings that are engaged on many levels. This palette tends to lean toward earth tones, perhaps an homage to the colors of his youth in New Mexico.
Turkey Bags from Sam – Available Now
Mark Bode was born in Utica, New York. He is the son of the legendary cartoonist Vaughn Bode. Mark is best known for his work on COBALT 60 and as the creator of the hit comic Miami Mice. Bode attended The Art School in Oakland, California. His first professional job was for Heavy Metal Magazine when he was asked to color his father’s black and white strip Zooks, the First Lizard in Orbit when he was fifteen. He was a fine arts major at The School of Visual Arts in New York City and studied animation and etching at San Francisco State University. His publications include Gyro Comics, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Cobalt 60 (the graphic novel), GWAR comics and Lizard of Oz. In his spare time, of which there isn’t much, Mark occasionally performs the Bode cartoon concert, teaches art, plays New Orleans style piano and zydeco accordion. In the near 30 years of Mark’s professional career as an artist, Mark’s work has appeared in Heavy Metal, Epic Magazine, Penthouse, Hustler, Gauntlet Magazine, While You Were Sleeping, and Graphotism, among many, many other magazines and comics. He has had articles featuring his work in the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Juxtapoz and Tabu Tattoo. Mark’s work has been exhibited in the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, the Psychedelic Solution Gallery in New York, and Upper Playground Gallery in San Francisco. He has also had art shows abroad in Berlin, London, Milan and Barcelona.
Jigsaw Puzzles from Mark – Available Now
Vaughn began drawing at the age of five. He remembered himself as “an extremely introverted kid, completely unable to relate to the world around me…I started creating my own fantasy world populated with my own little creatures.” Vaughn is one of the most influential American cartoonists of our time. Much of graffiti art itself comes from the work of Vaughn Bode. Rendering his characters, lettering and cartoon semiotics is a rite of passage for graffiti art crews. Vaughn Bode’s art was made popular by writers like Dondi, Seen, Tracy and Mare 139. Unrecognized by most in the fine art realm, the worlds and characters he created permeate our collective pop image bank like a classic visual rock & roll soundtrack for our times. Vaughn was the recipient in 1969 of a Hugo Award. In 1975 he received the Yellow Kid award in Lucca, Italy.
Jigsaw Puzzles from Vaughn – Available Now
Anthony Ausgang, referred to as the pioneer of Lowbrow, is an artist whose surrealistic narratives depict cartoon characters in provocative situations. With 90’s inspired themes and color stories, Anthony creates pieces that are both visually stimulating while also creating a sense of nostalgia with the audience. Anthony was commissioned to create the album artwork for the band MGMT’s newest record entitled “Congratulations”.
Jigsaw Puzzles from Anthony – Coming Soon
Donny Miller could be described as an anti-artist. By using very commercial-looking clip and line art combined with sarcasm, Miller creates propaganda posters for the throwaway consumer world we live in. He is tired of paintings, pictures and art that say nothing. “So much of art now a days is a pretty picture or whatever and it’s kind of useless. Like a pop song, it sounds all right and everyone likes it because it affords a quick escape from whatever is in front of whoever is listening to it.”
Die of Knowing by Donny – Coming Soon
Nate Van Dyke, more commonly known as N8, is an artist and illustrator whose work can be recognized because of his use of mixed media and high-sheen finishes. Using materials such as pencil, ink, marker, watercolor, gauche, acrylic, and oils, N8 creates art that features heavy metal human figures as well as futuristic primitive apes. His work has been featured in magazines such as Juxtapoz, Playstation, XBOX, and Heavy Metal. N8 used to work for NCSoft where he created concept art and storyboards for the Sega video game, Iron Man. Clients such as Converse, Levi Strauss, Scion, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Slayer have commissioned his work. In 2008, he opened two gallery shows in London and Portland, Oregon. He was also awarded the Silver Award in the Editorial category from Spectrum 16.
Crazy Eights Card Game by N8 – Coming Soon
Claw Money is a groundbreaking graffiti writer whose work can be most commonly recognized because of the signature fat paw with three claws logo. Born in New York in 1968, Claw Money, or Claudia, has had a huge impact on the graffiti world as a woman in a field that is dominated by men. She attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, but dropped out in 1986. After establishing herself as a graffiti writer, Claw Money has gone on to pursue careers in both the fashion design world as well as the literary world. She was the fashion editor and director at Swindle Magazine and also designs and produces her own clothing line called Claw Money. Claw Money clothing has a huge celebrity following including M.I.A., Kanye West, and Santogold. Her past collaborations have been with major companies such as Calvin Klein, Mark Ecko, and Nike. In 2007, the book entitled The Life and Crimes of Claw Money was released featuring her life story as well as artwork.
Poker Chips from Claw - Available Now
Greg Mike is a studio artist whose creativity has branched out to include aspects of street art, fashion design, graphic design, and commercial branding. Influenced by the graffiti and skate scene of New York City in the 80’s, Greg Mike’s work is a combination of studio and street art. Greg Mike broke into the fashion scene by working for Carpe Denim (Carpe Clothiers) focusing on the design, branding, and marketing of the company. With the lack of a respectable trade show for high-end contemporary clothing, Greg created and organized the Trafik Trade Show in South Beach, Miami, FL that ran very successfully for many years. Greg Mike’s current endeavor, GM Creative, is a one-stop design studio experience. Past collaborations with GM Creative have included Dallas Austin’s Rowdy Collection as well as others. With solo shows on both coasts, Greg has turned his creativity and drive to focus on his personal artwork, which has been described as both brazen and precise.