Shepard Fairey has written a piece discussing the controversy surrounding his use of an AP photo as a reference for his iconic HOPE poster of Obama. He makes all the expected (and I think highly valid) arguments for why he didn’t need to ask permission to use the photo, why he doesn’t owe AP or Mannie Garcia (the photographer) any money, and why the poster is still his own original work. And driving the point home, he also points out that the photo he based his illustration on wasn’t even the one that the press has been circulating.
via Boing Boing
Design great Milton Glaser thinks Shepard Fairey didn’t add enough to make his HOPE poster stand apart as an original work.
I disagree. And the test for me is that Fairey could have made his poster without the photo in question — he just would have grabbed a different photo. The photo is one of millions of subtly different photos of Obama. On the other hand, Fairey’s poster is distinctive and iconic. In fact, the photo owes any significance it enjoys to the poster.