Known for his experiment in phenomenology, and more recently for his Obama poster, artist Shepard Fairey recently partnered with Saks Fifth Avenue to apply his iconic style to their Spring marketing campaign.
Inspired by the graphic designs and propaganda spirit of Constructivist art, the new catalog covers and shopping bags from the department store will feature the slogan “Want It!” in Fairey’s typical color scheme: red, white and black. The lettering is also quite reminiscent of graphic designs by Rodchenko, the Russian graphic designer who was one of the founders of Constructivism.
It’s been interesting to watch how Fairey’s work and philosophy have evolved over the years. What started out as project meant to provoke the status quo of consumer culture through a nonsensical image has been re-directed to help sell bags.
Undoubtedly, the campaign will prompt criticism from those who accuse him of “selling out,” but in any case, it’s refreshing to hear Saks senior vice president for marketing speak frankly about the partnership and marketing in general, stating, “What we do every day, really, is propaganda.”