Years: Late '90s - Present
Notable works: Universal Personhood, Love Unites, Che
As he gained notoriety in the press, Fairey began expanding his palette. In the mid-late '90s, Fairey began appropriating images more synonymous with political agendas. As his business grew, this was seen as not only risqué but also somewhat reprehensible. Perhaps most notable of these was his use of the image of Che Guevara, which was derided as not in the spirit of Guevara's politics. Fairey maintained that the use of the image was a commentary of the already over-saturated nature of Guevara, having appeared on T-shirts for years and years already. This would set in motion a backlash to Fairey's work and activism, as he began having feet in both the worlds of commerce and the anti-establishment, a precarious balance that would continue to be represented in his work as he grew more political and commercial. It seems, when taking an anti-capitalist agenda in his work, self-hatred was a healthy motivator.