Barack Obama

image for Barack Obama
Obama "HOPE" Portrait
Exhibition Label
Forty-fourth president
Shepard Fairey’s Barack Obama Hope poster became the iconic campaign image for the first African American president of the United States. Early in 2008, the Los Angeles–based graphic designer and street artist designed his first Obama portraits, with a stenciled face, visionary upward glance, and inspiring captions. The artist’s intention that the image be widely reproduced and "go viral" on the Internet exceeded his greatest expectations. Campaign supporters and grassroots organizations disseminated tens of thousands of T-shirts, posters, and small stickers; Fairey himself produced mural-sized versions; and a free, downloadable graphic generated countless more repetitions. In this fine-art version of that unprecedented and powerful campaign icon, Fairey incorporated the familiar heroic pose and patriotic color scheme. But he translated the portrait into a collage with a rich, elegant surface of decorative papers and old newsprint.
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Heather and Tony Podesta Collection in honor of Mary K. Podesta
Restrictions & Rights
© Shepard Fairey/
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Object number
Shepard Fairey, born 1970
Copy after
Mannie Garcia, born 1953
Barack Hussein Obama, born 4 Aug 1961
Costume\Dress Accessory\Tie\Necktie
Barack Hussein Obama: Male
Barack Hussein Obama: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
Barack Hussein Obama: Politics and Government\President of US
Barack Hussein Obama: Politics and Government\US Senator\Illinois
Barack Hussein Obama: Politics and Government\State Senator\Illinois
Barack Hussein Obama: Nobel Prize
Hand-finished collage, stencil, and acrylic on heavy paper
Sheet: 176.7 x 117.5 cm (69 9/16 x 46 1/4")
Frame: 187.3 x 127 x 5.1 cm (73 3/4 x 50 x 2")
National Portrait Gallery