Political posters are usually overlooked by the American public. The reason is political posters or handouts are dull and uninteresting to the public. However, in the 2008 presidential election in the United States of America, a poster of the democratic candidate was seen practically everywhere. That democratic candidate, then, is now the president of the United States, Barack Obama. The iconic image was created by a street artist by the name of Shepard Fairey.1 How does a street artist’s work become the image of a high profile campaign? Also, why did this particular piece of work become a pop culture phenomenon in America. In this paper, we will go through to find out why and how did this image strike the American and the world’s attention. In this paper, we will focus the attention on the annotations of this famous poster. First, we will look at the political portrait as a whole through the preliminary analysis and also individually in terms of colors, forms, etc. Then, we will look at other body of works which also analyzes the portrait. Finally, I will discuss some perceptions of my own when annotating the political poster and my view overall. With this iconic poster, originally it was not made for the actual campaign.2 However, it soon became a brand image of the political campaign. But why and how?
To answer the why and how questions, we would have to look at the portrait through the preliminary analysis. A preliminary analysis is basically taking in what a person sees and what can we take from the obvious looks of the image.3 In this political poster, Barack Obama is the center point of the image and the word “hope” is along the bottom. The colors that are mostly used are patriotic hues: red, white, and blue. Although along Obama’s face the ‘white’ is more of a cream or ivory hue. Because of the lighter color, it seems as if the light is shining on his right ...
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