I don't go looking for this stuff. It finds me. In one sense, Shepard Fairey's attempts early in his career at subverting American culture through the repetition of images seems to maintain some of it's validity. Everyone is talking about him, including me (and for the second time in a week)- and all he did was make a campaign poster. I found the above image in a thoughtful post over at Tomorrow Museum (via C-monster) which actually hits the nail on the head for me in regards to Fairey's current artistic and conceptual effectiveness- empty, uninteresting and seemingly disconnected with the history of images. So far most of the criticism by designers seems to revolve around the money/rights issue. I read very little that actually critiques Fairey's work from a conceptual standpoint, let alone explain why they think the use of communist propoganda as a point of reference for an American political poster is weird... Are designer's afraid to critique the work? Do they not teach art history and theory in design schools these days? That said I don't think he owes anyone money. He altered the work not just by visually altering but by changing the context in which the image is understood. Ask Duchamp about that one... To round out my findings this week also check out Steven Heller and Micheal Surtees related posts on the topic.